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Paul Ryan, other top Republicans urge Trump not to rescind DACA

Last Updated Sep 1, 2017 6:21 PM EDT

House Speaker Paul Ryan, along with some other top Republicans, is urging President Trump not to end the program that protects some immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children. 

Mr. Trump on Friday said he will issue a decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) over the weekend — "probably Sunday, Saturday; latest will be Monday." But hours later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president will make that announcement "Tuesday."

"We love the dreamers. We love everybody," the president said, asked about his plans for the DACA program. 

Amid reports that the president is looking to end DACA, leaders in his own party are calling on him to keep the status quo so Congress can consider addressing the matter legislatively instead. Former President Barack Obama's administration created the policy in 2012, which shields undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors and meet certain other eligibility requirements. 

"I actually don't think he should do that," Ryan said, asked about reports that the president might end the protection for Dreamers on local radio station WCLO in Janesville, Wisconsin. "And I believe that this is something that congress has to fix. Let me back up for a second. President Obama did not have the legislative authority to do what he did. You can't, as an executive, write law out of thin air. And so that's very, very clear. We've made that very clear.

"President (Barack) Obama does not have the authority to do what he did ... we've made that very clear," Ryan said in the radio interview. "That's one that we're working on. I think we want to give people peace of mind. And so I've had plenty of conversations with the White House about this issue. And I think the president, as well, has mentioned that he wants to have a humane solution to this problem. I think that's something that we in Congress are working on and need to deliver on."

AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for Ryan, noted Ryan's disagrees with Obama's DACA approach. 

"The speaker does not agree with President Obama's DACA overreach," Strong said. "He believes it is Congress's responsibility to set immigration law."

Ryan's comments came after Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called Mr. Trump on Thursday, urging him not to rescind DACA. Hatch also wants to consider long-term, legislative solutions to the program. 

"I've urged the president not to rescind DACA, an action that would further complicate a system in serious need of a permanent, legislative solution," Hatch said in a statement he posted to Twitter. "Like the president, I've long advocated for tougher enforcement of our existing immigration laws. But we've also need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here. And that solution must come from Congress.

"Over the coming months, I'll be working closely with colleagues in Congress and with the administration to pass meaningful immigration reform that will secure our borders, provide a workable path forward for the dreamer population and ensure that employers have access to high skilled workers they need to succeed in our technology driven economy."

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, also suggested Congress should take action to protect Dreamers.

CBS News' Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, citing two Republican sources on Capitol Hill, reports the president will end the program by not accepting new permits and by allowing existing permits to expire, with no chance for renewal. The White House's message to Congress is that if members like the program, they should draft their own legislation. The White House will consider it, likely favorably, Garrett reports. 

Mr. Trump has given mixed messages on DACA. On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump pledged to eliminate the program, but after taking office in January, said Dreamers, "shouldn't be very worried."

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.