WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is set to scrap a programme that grants work permits to immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children, a move likely to impact more than 7,000 Indian-Americans, a media report said today.
The programme -– Deferred Action for Children Arrival (DACA) –- was a key immigration reform of the former US President Barack Obama.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Friday that Trump would take a decision on the issue tomorrow. However, Politico in an exclusive story reported Sunday that Trump has already decided to rescind this programme and senior administration officials are now discussing the rollout of his decision which could come later this week.
However, senior administration officials have cautioned that there might be changes in Trump’s decision until it is formally announced, Politico reported.
Such a decision by the US President, which is one of his poll promises, is expected to draw widespread criticism including those from his own Republican party. The move is likely to impact some 750,00 undocumented workers including more than 7,000 Indian-Americans.
In a radio interview Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives said that Trump should not terminate DACA as "these children know no other country than the US".
"I actually don't think he should do that. I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix," Ryan said on radio station WCLO in Janesville, Wisconsin.
India ranks 11th among countries of origin for DACA students, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services statistics available till March 31, 2017. "Deporting patriotic, courageous young men and women who are American in every way would be disastrous for our communities, our economy and our nation," said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader in the US House of Representatives.
In a study released last week, CATO Institute said that termination of DACA, which would result in possible deportation of these students could cost over USD 200 billion to the American economy and the cost to the government would be USD 60 billion.
The average DACA recipient is 22 years old, employed, and a student. 17 per cent of them are on track to complete an advanced degree.