The rumors of the past few days became reality. President Donald Trump today officially repealed the DACA program that has protected approximately 800,000 undocumented individuals from deportation, authorizing them to live and work legally in the United States temporarily since its implementation in 2012.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement during a 12-minute press conference.
However, the impact will not be immediate. Sessions said the Department of Homeland Security will begin phasing out the program, including canceling President Obama's executive order authorizing DACA and its implementation.
President Barack Obama created the DACA program - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - through executive action in 2012, after years of inaction and failed attempts by Congress to craft and pass a bill, like the DREAM Act that was rejected by the Senate in 2010.
The executive order was only a temporary measure. Congress is the only body that can pass laws and change the U.S. immigration system, and now the legal future of DACA recipients again rests with U.S. lawmakers.
During his election campaign, Trump promised he would eliminate DACA and days after taking office, a White House draft was leaked indicating plans to "end unconstitutional executive amnesties," including the deferred action program for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country before their 16th birthday.
A dozen Republican state attorneys general had warned that they would file a lawsuit to stop the implementation of DACA if the President did not repeal the program by September 5.