President Trump on Tuesday expressed hope that Congress “will be able to help” young immigrants after he moved to end an Obama-era program shielding them from deportation.
“I have a great heart for the folks we are talking about, a great love for them,” Trump told reporters of so-called Dreamers before a White House meeting on tax reform. 
“I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly. Hopefully now Congress will be able to help them.”
The remarks represented Trump’s first in-person comments on his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier Tuesday.
Trump’s controversial move drew backlash from Democrats, immigrant-rights activists and some Republicans, who said it punished young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
The president, however, said the ball is in Congress’s court to grant them legal protections, alluding to the six-month delay included in the administration’s push to wind down the program.
“I can tell you, speaking to members of Congress, they want to be able to do something and do it right. And really we have no choice, we have to be able to do something, and I think it’s going to work out very well, and long term it’s going to be the right solution,” he said. 
Trump’s tone on DACA differed significantly from comments made by Sessions, who said earlier Tuesday that the program “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said that any fix for DACA recipients should accompany significant changes to border security and the country’s visa system. 

“This is not an easy one, and certainly something where he wants to be able to make a decision with compassion,” she said of Trump. “But at the same time, you can’t allow emotion to govern.”

—Updated at 5:19 p.m.
Tags Jeff Sessions

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