President-elect Donald Trump says that he’s going to try to “work something out” for illegal aliens who were granted amnesty through President Obama’s 2012 immigration executive action, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
In an interview with Time magazine, Trump said that he still plans to overturn the executive action, which provided DACA beneficiaries, who are called DREAMers, with work permits and protected them from deportation.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump told Time for its “Person of the Year” issue. The real estate billionaire received the top honor.
“They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Trump did not elaborate on how he plans to overturn Obama’s action while allowing DREAMers — which are nearly 750,000 in number — to stay in the U.S. And he may face resistance within his own administration. Trump’s choice for attorney general is Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, an immigration hardliner who has steadfastly opposed DACA and a 2014 Obama executive action which seeks to grant amnesty to illegal aliens who are parents of American citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is also said to be a top contender for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Like Sessions, Kobach has been a vocal opponent of granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
Trump has offered imprecise views on the DREAMer issue before.
“The DREAMers, it’s a tough situation. One of the things is we’re going to expedite — when someone’s terrific, we want them back here. But they have to be legal,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview last year.
Asked then whether DREAMers should be deported, Trump responded, “They’re with their parents, it depends. Look, it sounds cold. It sounds hard. We have a country. Our country is going to hell. We have to have a system where people are legally in our country.”
A bipartisan group of Senators is currently working on a bill that would allow DREAMers to remain in the U.S. even if Obama’s executive actions are overturned.