Former Commerce secretary warns canceling DACA would 'blemish' US

Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on Sunday said if the Trump administration eliminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and began deporting recipients, it would forever tarnish the country's reputation. 

"I think this decision, if the decision is, let's deport these kids, I think this would be one of the most notorious immigration decisions in our history and I think it would be a permanent stain - a permanent blemish on the U.S. forever," Gutierrez said on CNN's "State of the Union."

President Trump is expected to make an announcement this week on whether his administration will defend or rescind the program.

Gutierrez, who served in the George W. Bush administration, made the case that if deferred action is unconstitutional, lawmakers should work toward making it a law. 

"So the idea of DACA being unconstitutional, a lot of presidents have used the idea of deferred action. So if you think it's unconstitutional, let's make it a law. Let's fix it. And that would be as some people who are working today, passing a DREAM Act or passing a BRIDGE Act that will get you to a DREAM Act," he added.

The remarks by the former secretary come as speculation mounts that the president will end the Obama-era program that temporarily grants deportation relief to children who were illegally brought to the U.S. as minors.

The program has deferred the deportation of 800,000 individuals by extending work permits.

Both Republicans and Democrats alike have urged Trump to keep the program in place, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

However many Republican lawmakers have argued that DACA, which was an executive action under former President Obama, should have been passed through Congress.