Araweelo News Network

Washington(ANN)-US President Donald Trump has cancelled a program designed to protect from deportation immigrants who were brought to the country as children amid a huge outcry against the move.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allowed almost 800,000 young men and women, often called “dreamers”, who had entered the country as illegal immigrants, to stay in the US.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that the DACA program had ended.

Trump’s administration said the move was necessary to show respect for the country’s immigration laws, and said nobody covered by the program would be affected before March 5.

“I do not favor punishing children … for the actions of their parents. But … we are a nation of laws,” Trump said.

Trump ordered a phased-out dismantling of DACA that gives a gridlocked Congress six months to decide the fate of these immigrants.

Democrats and civil rights activists have blasted Trump’s decision.

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA is a deeply shameful act of political cowardice and a despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America,” said Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives.

DACA was created in 2012 during the tenure of former Democratic President Barack Obama to protect children.

The program is currently supported by the Democrats, many top US business leaders and grassroots who have staged protest rallies outside the White House in Washington and Trump Tower in New York over Tuesday’s announcement.

DACA supporters argue that the people covered under the program were raised and educated in the United States and were integrated into American society, with scant ties to their countries of origin.

Civil rights activists rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in Manhattan, New York City, September 5, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Mexican reaction

Most of the immigrants protected by DACA came from Latin American countries, Mexico in particular.

The Mexican government announced that it “deeply regrets” the Trump administration’s decision to deport young immigrants, urging US lawmakers to bypass Trump’s decision.

The Foreign Relations department said in a statement on Tuesday that under “the current situation, the Mexican government has a moral imperative to act.”

Mexico would provide legal defense services for any of its citizens affected by the decision, it said.

The department added that the country “will receive with open arms any dreamers who return.”