In a much-anticipated announcement, the Trump Administration said Tuesday morning it has decided to effectively end the DACA program, though not immediately.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allows some people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children – popularly known as "Dreamers" – to stay here under certain conditions.
But the program has been controversial from the start, because it was enacted by President Barack Obama through an executive order – which Attorney General Jeff Sessions described Tuesday as an "overreach" that undermined Congress.
So that same day, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the "rescission" – or the repeal of – the program.
"This Administration's decision to terminate DACA was not taken lightly," the department's press release says, adding that an evaluation found the program "conflicts with our existing immigration laws."
However, DACA will not be shut down immediately.
Instead, DHS says, the administration will "wind the program down in an orderly fashion," giving Congress until March 5, 2018, to "deliver on appropriate legislative solutions."
In other words, it's ultimately up to lawmakers to decide whether Dreamers will continue to have DACA protections past that date. In the meantime, no current beneficiaries of the program "will be impacted," the release says.
This, DHS says, was the "least disruptive" course of action.
There are about 787,000 Dreamers who are protected under the current DACA rules, including nearly 6,300 in Minnesota, according to state DFL lawmakers.
The decision has already drawn sharp criticism from proponents of DACA.
The American Civil Liberties Union and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer both called it "heartless," while VoteVets.org condemned it as "cruel":
Meanwhile, the attorney general of Washington state has promised to sue the Trump Administration: