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DACA on the brink

By Jim Acosta, Mary Kay Mallonee and Tal Kopan, CNN | 9/4/2017, 8:36 a.m.
President Donald Trump is expected to end a program that protected undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as ...
(File Photo) President Donald Trump is expected to end a program that protected undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children -- so-called "Dreamers" -- from deportation, four sources familiar with the decision told CNN. Two of the sources said the plan is to have a six-month delay in any action regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Erik Cox/Instagram

(CNN) -- President Donald Trump is expected to end a program that protected undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children -- so-called "Dreamers" -- from deportation, four sources familiar with the decision told CNN.

Two of the sources said the plan is to have a six-month delay in any action regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to allow Congress time to pass a fix through legislation that would allow the undocumented immigrants to stay in the country.

The expected move -- which comes after weeks of White House deliberations about what to do in response to an ultimatum from 10 state attorneys general led by Texas -- would satisfy Trump's base but upend the lives of nearly 800,000 people who were working and studying in the US. The DACA program, which gave qualified applicants protections from deportation, is popular among Democrats and moderate Republicans, many of whom have introduced legislation in Congress to try to protect the population permanently.

The sources said the expected decision to end the program with a six-month delay reflects the President's thinking as of Sunday night.

Officials have sent conflicting signals at times in the past as to what the final decision on the program's fate would be.

Several of the sources cautioned the decision would not be final until it is announced, which the White House has said will be Tuesday.

Two of the sources familiar with the matter said there was a meeting at the White House on Sunday to talk about the decision, which was first reported by Politico.

Controversial decision

As soon as the expected move was reported, there was a flood of reactions from the left and the right, with immigration advocates calling the move cruel and Trump's core supporters hailing the move as restoring the rule of law.

"If Trump decides to end DACA, it will be one of the ugliest and cruelest decisions ever made by a president in our modern history," Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted.

But Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said on Twitter that ending DACA would give "chance 2 restore Rule of Law."

Some Republicans have implored Trump in recent days to keep the program going as Congress works on a solution for the sympathetic population -- who in most cases know no other home than America.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a radio interview Friday that he hoped Trump wouldn't end the program but that he believed Congress needed to come up with a fix. His view was echoed by several Senate Republicans, including Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.

Trump, himself, has gone back and forth on the program. During the campaign, he pledged to immediately rescind the Obama administration policy, which just marked its fifth anniversary. But upon taking office, he spoke of the sympathy he had for the "Dreamers" covered under DACA and said it was a "very, very hard" decision that he faced.

Trump said on Friday, "We love the Dreamers." He has also said in the past he would treat the issue "with heart."