US threatens sweeping export controls against Russian industries
Obama calls Trump's DACA decision cruel, self-defeating and wrong
Former President Barack Obama came out against President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, saying a "shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again."
Obama wrote in a lengthy Facebook post that he decided to create DACA during his presidency because "it made no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know solely because of the actions of their parents."
"To target these young people is wrong - because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating - because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel," he wrote.
Obama called for Congress to act quickly to pass legislation to protect those who would be impacted by the end of the program.
"It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today," Obama wrote.
"And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it's up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future."
Obama said the decision to protect DACA recipients is "about basic decency."
"This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated. It's about who we are as a people - and who we want to be," he said.
Obama's statement comes hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Trump would rescind the program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as minors from deportation.
Roughly 800,000 immigrants have benefitted from the program so far.
Trump's decision to end the program comes with a six-month delay, opening the door for Congress to pass legislation to extend the protections for DACA recipients.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has called for a "permanent legislative solution" to DACA, and other lawmakers have similarly called for action.