McConnell: I’m very sympathetic to 'Dreamers'

 McConnell: I’m very sympathetic to 'Dreamers'
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security Pence quotes MLK in pitch for Trump's immigration proposal MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters Friday that he is very sympathetic toward the estimated 750,000 illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age. 

He said he is “anxious” to see what President Trump does about these immigrants, who received protection from deportation in 2012 by an executive order from former President Obama establishing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

"I'm very sympathetic with this situation. These are young people who were brought here at a tender age and who have grown up here or are in the process of growing up here. I'm very sympathetic to that situation and I'm anxious to see what the president decides to do," McConnell told reporters.

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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamExperts warn of persistent ISIS threat after suicide bombing Graham: Trump should meet Pakistan's leader to reset relations State of American politics is all power games and partisanship MORE (R-S.C.) and Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinBlagojevich's wife 'speechless' that officer's sentence less than half of husband's Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal MORE (Ill.) introduced legislation at the end of last year to protect immigrants who came to the country illegally at a young age but have since stayed out of legal trouble and become productive members of society.

Trump has yet to give a clear indication of what he plans to do about immigrants who fall into this category, who are often referred to as "Dreamers."

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that an executive order has been drafted to end the DACA program. 

By McConnell indicated that such an executive order may not be popular among Republicans on Capitol Hill and there may be support for passing bipartisan legislation to protect them from deportation. 

Trump called the status of DACA recipients a "very, very tough subject" during his press conference Thursday. 

"We are going to deal with DACA with heart. I have to deal with a lot of politicians, don't forget, and I have to convince them what I'm saying is right," Trump said. "I appreciate your understanding on that, but the DACA situation is a very, very — it's a very difficult thing for me because, you know, I love these kids. I love kids. I have kids. And grandkids.

"I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do, and the law's rough. I'm not even talking about new laws, I'm talking about the existing law and the existing law is rough. It's very, very rough."