President Donald Trump on Tuesday night said he would "revisit" the Obama-era policy shielding hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation in six months if Congress cannot legalize it.
It is unclear what action Trump would take if he decided to again address Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that he said he would end Tuesday with a six-month delay . However, his tweeted comment appears to cloud his view on the issue after a day in which he and his administration vehemently criticized President Barack Obama's authority to implement the policy.
Trump tweet: Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!
Trump's decision set up a potential rush for lawmakers to pass a bill protecting so-called dreamers before the Trump administration's deadline. It is unclear if the GOP-led Congress, members of which voted to sink similar legislation in the past, can do so in the near future as it faces multiple crucial deadlines to approve legislation.
In a statement earlier Tuesday, Trump said he looks forward "to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to finally address all of these issues in a manner that puts the hardworking citizens of our country first."
"As I've said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion — but through the lawful democratic process — while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve. We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling, and forgotten Americans," Trump said.
Trump allies like Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged him to end DACA, arguing it will be difficult to defend in court.
"Simply put, if we are to further our goal of strengthening the constitutional order and rule of law in America, the Department of Justice cannot defend this overreach," Sessions said Tuesday in announcing the move.
Scrapping DACA, which started in 2012 under Obama, could affect roughly 800,000 young people registered under the program. It gives the immigrants a two-year period of protection from deportation and allows them to work in the United States.