Ryan says Trump shouldn't end DACA

Ryan says Trump shouldn't end DACA
© Greg Nash

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGeorge Will: Vote against GOP in midterms Trump tweet may doom House GOP effort on immigration On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery MORE (R-Wis.) said Friday he doesn't think President Trump should end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"I actually don't think he should do that and I believe that this is something Congress has to fix," Ryan told WCLO Janesville.

Ryan added that he doesn't believe President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama to visit Kenya, South Africa for Obama Foundation in July Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos Clarifying the power of federal agencies could offer Trump a lasting legacy MORE had the legal authority to institute DACA, but it's up to Congress to fix the situation.

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"President Obama did not have the legislative authority to do what he did," said Ryan. "You can't, as an executive, write law out of thin air."

Under DACA, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children were given work permits and deferred from deportation.

Texas and nine other states threatened court action against the program unless Trump rescinds it by Sept. 5.

Rumors have been circling that Trump would end the program Friday, but White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday the administration had not yet reached a decision.

Axios reported that a decision on DACA will not come Friday.

The program's future -- and the fate of its recipients, commonly known as "Dreamers" -- has put Trump and congressional Republicans in a tough spot.

Trump campaigned on a promise to be tough on immigration, calling DACA and its sister program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), Obama's "illegal amnesties."

But Trump later said he'd treat Dreamers "with heart," and Republicans have been reluctant to upend a program affecting so many young people.

"These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and who know no other home," said Ryan. "So I really believe there needs to be a legislative solution, that's one that we're working on and I think we want to give people peace of mind."

Some Republicans are moving on a legislative fix.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) introduced in March the Recognizing America's Children (RAC) Act, which would essentially put into law the benefits of DACA, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) teamed up with Democrats to propose the Dream Act, a similar, bipartisan measure.

But Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) turned up the heat on House leadership Thursday, saying he would introduce a discharge petition as early as next week for a bill extending DACA benefits for three years.

Discharge petitions can force full House votes on bills without them passing through committee. They are rarely successful -- the last time one worked was in 2015 – and many Republicans will be unlikely to sign on and buck leadership.

Coffman likely doesn't have the numbers to pass his bill -- he's got 12 Republican sponsors and needs 23 GOP votes. A contentious fight in the House over DACA could be a distraction as lawmakers race to raise the debt ceiling and pass a government spending bill before the end of September.

"I've had plenty of conversations with the White House about this issue, and I think the president as well has mentioned that he wants to have a humane solution to this problem," said Ryan

"I think that's something that we in Congress are working on and need to deliver on," he added.

This story was updated at 12:44 p.m.