Defying a chorus of corporate executives and critics in Congress, President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday that he will roll back protections that spare children brought to the United States illegally from being deported.
But Trump reportedly will only begin enforcing the change in policy after a six-month delay. It’s unclear how that might work, but it could give Congress some time to decide whether to turn the Obama-era program — called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — into law.
Since 2012, DACA has allowed undocumented young adults — brought to the United States illegally as children — to stay in the country so long as they obtain work permits, which can be renewed every two years. There are about 800,000 beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, spanning a broad range of industries.
To that end, many corporate leaders have come to their defense: More than 300 executives, including the leaders of Apple, Facebook and Google, urged Trump to preserve the program in an open letter last week.
For now, a spokesman for the White House declined to comment on the president’s plans. Politico first reported the news late Sunday.
Renewed fears over the weekend that Trump intends to eliminate DACA — a pledge Trump first made during the 2016 presidential campaign — drew another round of vocal opposition from the tech industry.
Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook called for a “solution rooted in American values,” while noting in a tweet that 250 of his “co-workers” would be affected by the change. Later in the day, Laurene Powell Jobs — whose late husband, Steve, was born from immigrant parents — offered her support.
At the end of last week, leaders from Trump’s own party similarly had encouraged the president to abandon his plans. “I actually don’t think he should do that,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan in an interview with a local Wisconsin radio station. “I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.”
At the moment, the exact fate of the roughly 800,000 or so Dreamers remains unknown. If Trump ends DACA, they could face risk of mass deportation once their work authorizations expire, said Todd Schulte, the leader of FWD.us, an immigration reform group backed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
A six-month delay on enforcement, however, could allow Congress some time to restore the program. But lawmakers have struggled in recent years to pass any immigration legislation. Ryan has criticized former President Barack Obama for implementing DACA while still acknowledging that legislation is needed to restore some of its protections.
Before the announcement, Trump faced the prospect of an imminent lawsuit from 10 states’ attorneys general, who said they would challenge the constitutionality of DACA in court unless the president scrapped the program by Sept. 5.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.