House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats step up pressure on Biden on student loan forgiveness Climate activists target Manchin Democrats face growing storm over IRS reporting provision MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday blasted President Trump's expected decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, calling it a "cruel act of political cowardice."
The Democratic leader said the decision, which Trump is expected to formally announce Tuesday, "should break the hearts and offend the morals of all who believe in justice and human dignity."
"This cruel act of political cowardice deals a stunning blow to the bright young DREAMers and to everyone who cherishes the American Dream," Pelosi said in a statement, using a term referring to DACA recipients.
Politico reported on Sunday that Trump plans to end DACA with a six-month delay for Congress to find a legislative fix.
The Obama-era program temporarily shields from deportation those brought to the U.S. illegally as children and allows them to obtain work visas.
Pelosi tied Trump's reported decision on DACA to his pardon last month of former controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Texas.
Pelosi said it was odd that Trump "has chosen to pardon someone who shares his anti-immigrant views, Sheriff Arpaio, who was convicted, while punishing young children who are innocent."
Arpaio had been convicted of criminal contempt for violating a court order in a racial profiling case before he was pardoned.
Democrats and some Republicans have urged Trump not to scrap DACA, which has shielded from deportation about 800,000 immigrants.
Some have called for Congress to step in and offer a legislative solution to protect those affected should Trump cancel the program, something Pelosi indicated she would support.
"House Republicans must join Democrats to pass legislation to safeguard our young DREAMers from the senseless cruelty of deportation and shield families from separation and heartbreak," she said. "Democrats will stand firm with DREAMers and redouble our efforts to protect our nation’s families from the Trump Administration’s mass deportation agenda."