Trump DACA comments: Says he has "great heart" for recipients after rescinding program

Last Updated Sep 5, 2017 5:09 PM EDT

Late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump commented on his his decision to rescind the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order signed by then-President Obama. 

During a meeting on tax legislation with GOP congressional leaders and his top economic advisers, the president was asked if ending the program showed "heart."

"I have a great heart for the folks we're talking about, a great love for them," adding, "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," Mr. Trump said. He went on to mention that having talked to lawmakers, "I feel like they want to be able to do something and do it right. And really we have no choice. We have to be able to do something. And i think it's going to work out very well," the president said. "And long-term, it's going to be the right solution."

Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also defended the the president on this question. "It's not cold-hearted for the president to uphold the law. We are a nation of law and order," she told reporters at a briefing after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the program's rescission. 

Sessions called the current program an "unconstitutional" overreach of executive authority that caused great legal concern and blamed Congress for rejecting the legislation that would extend similar benefits to undocumented immigrants.  He argued that former President Obama had committed an "unconstitutional exercise of authority" in enacting the DACA order.

But Obama said in a Facebook post responding to the rescission that "the action today isn't required legally" and called it a "political decision" and a "moral question."

"To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel," he said in the statement.

Mr. Trump also remarked briefly about taxes, saying that it was time "to lower our taxes and bring back our wealth." And he added that companies were moving back to the U.S. in "very, very big numbers." 

The president wants to cut corporate taxes to 15 percent from the current level of 35 percent, arguing that the lower tax rate will create jobs and raise wages for workers.