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President Donald Trump on Thursday said recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which his administration on Tuesday announced would end in six months, had “nothing to worry about” during the phase-out period.
“For all those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The tweet, apparently an effort reassure anxious DACA recipients, came after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke with Trump over the phone Thursday morning and asked him to make clear that DACA recipients would not be subject to deportation in the six-month period, a Democratic aide told Business Insider. The aide said Trump called Pelosi.
“This is what I asked the president to do and, boom boom boom, the tweet appeared,” Pelosi later said at a press conference Thursday.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump “is committed to working across the aisle and doing what is needed to best serve the American people.”
The Trump administration opted to end the DACA program, which has shielded from deportation roughly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the US as children, over six months to allow Congress time to enact new protections for the immigrants.
During those six months, the government has said, existing DACA permits will be honored and new applications submitted before this past Tuesday will be processed. If Congress is unable to agree on a replacement program, DACA recipients will begin losing their protection and work authorization on March 6.
Trump’s Thursday tweet may do little to alleviate the concerns of some DACA recipients whose permits are soon expiring – they must submit a renewal application by October 5 to be eligible for a two-year renewal, or they could indeed lose their DACA permits within six months.
The number of DACA recipients eligible to renew is unclear.
Trump’s call with Pelosi and subsequent tweet came a day after he sided with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, over the objections of their Republican counterparts, on a massive deal to raise the debt ceiling, fund the government, and provide relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey.