DeVos: ‘My heart is with’ Dreamers
© Greg Nash

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to take over Afghan war MORE says her "heart is with" the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who may be forced to leave the country after President Trump's decision to rescind the program.

"Well first of all my heart is with them," DeVos told CBS News's Jen Crawford in response to the Department of Justice's announcement earlier this week that Trump will end the program.

"I know this is a very difficult issue, and I know it's one with which the president has struggled, as well as all of us," said DeVos. Trump reportedly wrestled with the issue in office after he had promised to rescind the program as a candidate. 

"We are a nation of compassion, and we are also a nation of laws," DeVos added, echoing Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors Key GOP lawmaker throws cold water on Rosenstein impeachment With new immigration policy, Trump administration gutting the right to asylum MORE's comments when he announced the program's termination. Trump's decision gave Congress a six-month window to replace the program with legislation

The program, which began under former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaEx-White House stenographer: Trump is ‘lying to the American people’ Trump has the right foreign policy strategy — he just needs to stop talking The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump faces bipartisan criticism over Putin presser, blames media for coverage MORE, allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors to remain in the U.S. and apply for work permits, as long as they meet certain requirements. About 800,00 so-called Dreamers currently live in the country.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning, “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about — No action!”

Under the terms announced by the Trump administration earlier this week, DACA recipients whose permits expire within the next six months have until Oct. 5 to apply for renewal. But those whose permits run out after the March deadline will see their permits expire unless Congress acts.

"I understand they're here not by their own volition, and yet they are serious about pursuing their education and contributing to our American society and culture. And I would just encourage them to take courage and have courage," DeVos said. 

"[It's] really up — it's Congress's role to pass the laws," DeVos argued. "We are a nation of laws, but we also a compassionate nation. So I hope that they will do their job and address this issue once and for all."

Congress is currently debating potential bills to provide permanent protection for the program's recipients, which has received bipartisan support.