Former President Barack Obama is reportedly prepared to publicly criticize President Donald Trump if he decides to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Obama previously stated he would speak out if Trump ended the protections for DACA enrollees, who are sometimes called "Dreamers."
On Sept. 4, a source close to Obama disclosed that the former president would publicly rebuke his successor if DACA was terminated, Politico reports.
Trump has not announced his plans for DACA, but reports indicate he will discontinue the program and allow the protections for Dreamers to lapse.
Obama enacted DACA through an executive order in 2012. The program granted temporary work permits and protections from deportation to immigrants who were brought into the U.S. illegally after 2007 and before they turned 16 years old, according to CNN.
DACA enrollees had to turn over their information to the federal government and pay a fee to receive a two-year work permit, a driver's license and the ability to enroll in college. As of March 31, more than 780,000 immigrants had been enrolled in the program.
On Aug. 31, sources familiar with White House deliberations disclosed that Trump had decided to discontinue the program and allow for Dreamers' work permits and protections to lapse. Trump is expected to announce on Sept. 5 that he will end the program within six months.
Ira Mehlman of the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform, an advocate for stricter immigration enforcement, praised the potential move.
"Our position has been that President Trump should allow DACA to lapse," Mehlman told Fox News. "As people's two-year deferments and work authorization expire, they should not be renewed."
Daniel Garza of the Libre Initiative asserted that DACA was a "reprieve from a life of uncertainty for innocent kids who didn't break the law ... It's rather disappointing to think they could return to a state of anxiety and fear."
Obama reportedly plans to speak out only if Trump officially ends the program. The former president would issue a statement on social media arguing against the decision.
In November 2016, Obama stated he had personally warned Trump and his administration "to think long and hard before they are endangering the status for all practical purposes are American kids."
"These are kids who were brought here by their parents," Obama added, according to NBC News. "They did nothing wrong."
On Jan. 18, Obama disclosed during his last press conference in the White House that he would publicly take a stand against his successor if DACA was on the chopping block.
"The notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn't do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out," Obama said.