Several thousands of Nigerian children in the United States will likely be faced with deportation after the President Donald Trump administration announced its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
This is even as the Trump administration is advising beneficiaries of the DACA program to “prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States,” ABC News reported on Tuesday.
DACA is an American immigration program set up by the administration of the immediate past President Barack Obama in 2012.
The policy has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, including thousands of Nigerian children immigrants.
Talking points distributed to GOP lawmakers and obtained by ABC News say that DACA recipients should use their remaining time in the U.S. to get their affairs in order, after President Trump rescinded the program Tuesday.
“The Department of Homeland Security urges DACA recipients to use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States – including proactively seeking travel documentation – or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible,” the document says.
On Tuesday, the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, had announced that “the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded”.
Trump later blamed Obama for bringing the policy through executive authority, giving congress until six months to find a solution to the now vulnerable migrants.
He said; “It is now time for Congress to act”.
“As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion — but through the lawful democratic process — while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve.
“We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling and forgotten Americans.
“I have a great heart for these folks we’re talking about. A great love for them and people think in terms of children but they’re really young adults.
“I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.”
Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake were among the first lawmakers to announce their opposition to the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program, a decision that divides GOP members of Congress.
“President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA is the wrong approach to immigration policy at a time when both sides of the aisle need to come together to reform our broken immigration system and secure the border,” McCain said in a statement.
“I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know.”