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President Trump could end DACA program for immigrants brought to U.S. as children

President Trump could end DACA program for immigrants brought to U.S. as children
Posted at 1:36 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 13:42:32-04

President Donald Trump may end a U.S. immigration policy started by the Obama administration for undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children, multiple sources told ABC News.

Trump could end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (or DACA). The policy allows undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive protection from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. The program expires after two years, but it can be renewed.

Trump will decide whether to defend or end the program by Sept. 5 when a group of state attorneys general, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, said they would sue the Trump administration to end it.

The decision comes on the heels of a Northern Kentucky mother of two who was detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement after ICE officials said she "inaccurately stated that she was a lawful permanent resident."

In fact, Riccy Enriquez Perdomo is not -- but she isn't in the country illegally, either. Because Enriquez came to the United States as a 9-year-old, she received special protection under President Obama's DACA policy. Enriquez had renewed the policy in January.

However, when officials researched her in Department of Homeland Security databases, that renewal didn't show up -- according to ICE's statement, all they saw was her DACA status's previously scheduled March 2017 expiration date.

Watch the moment Enriquez reunites with her family in the player below.

At least two other DACA recipients have been detained since President Trump took office. Like Enriquez, they were eventually released.

The most recent numbers from March 31 show 787,580 initial grants and 799,077 renewals since DACA’s inception in 2012, ABC News reported.

Trump could end DACA by signing an executive order. It’s unclear what would happen to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants enrolled in the program.

Sens. Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham introduced a bipartisan bill in July that would grant legal status to many of those covered under the program.

Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced a companion bill in the House, which would give people under DACA a pathway to citizenship.