Donald Trump 'to end Dreamers programme' leaving 800,000 immigrants facing being kicked out of US

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President Donald Trump is set to ignite a political firestorm by repealing the Obama-era ‘Dreamers’ programme that protects young undocumented immigrants in America from deportation. 

The controversial move could result in as many as 800,000 illegal immigrants being kicked out of the United States.

Mr Trump is expected to make the announcement on Tuesday despite opposition from Democrats and from his own Republican Party.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programme will end in six months to allow time for lawmakers to come up with a plan to decide the fate of the undocumented people living in the country.

Under DACA, people who arrived in the US illegally as children – referred to as ‘Dreamers’ – are protected from deportation and ultimately granted work permits.

Dreamers plan: President Donald Trump (AP)

Cutting the programme was a cornerstone of the president’s election campaign. Many right wing Americans believe DACA is unconstitutional because it was implemented in 2012 as an executive order by Mr Obama rather than through US Congress.

The planned announcement appears to mark a change of heart by the president. On Friday he suggested he might keep the programme, saying: “We love the Dreamers. We love everybody.” 

Mr Trump’s decision is a direct snub to Speaker Paul Ryan who said on a radio show that he believed the president should keep DACA, and allow its plight to be decided on Capitol Hill.

But it was being seen in Washington today as an attempt by the beleaguered president to shore up his core support that was largely responsible for sweeping him to power on a platform focused around immigration crackdowns and a border wall with Mexico.

The programme was introduced by Barack Obama (AP)

The White House cautioned that the dramatic roll back, revealed this morning by website Politico, wasn’t set in stone.

“I think that this isn’t a decision that the president takes lightly and he’s taking time and diligent effort to make sure that he goes through every bit of the process,” said Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “I think the decision itself is weighing on him, certainly.”

But the move to scrap DACA has already triggered a fierce debate among Republicans.

Congressman Steve King argued that delaying the implementation by six months could imperil the decision.

“Ending DACA now gives chance 2 restore Rule of Law. Delaying so R Leadership can push Amnesty is Republican suicide,” he said in a tweet.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has appealed to Mr Trump to stand up for the ‘Dreamers’, tweeted: “After teasing #Dreamers for months with talk of his ‘great heart,’ @POTUS slams door on them. Some ‘heart’…” she wrote.

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