DACA recipients along with others rally in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles last Friday. Image Credit: Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump will phase out a programme that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children and call for Congress to find a legislative solution to protect the immigrants. 

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday the Trump administration had decided to rescind the so-called "Dreamers" programme that shields from deportation some immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children.

"I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded," Sessions told reporters.

Trump suggested in an earlier tweet that it would be up to Congress to ultimately decide the fate of those covered by President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, which has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S.

He tweeted: "Congress, get ready to do your job - DACA!" "Make no mistake, we are going to put the interest of AMERICAN CITIZENS FIRST!"

Trump added in a second, retweeted message. "The forgotten men & women will no longer be forgotten."

Eligible for removal

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke issued a memo that rescinded a 2012 DHS memo that established DACA.

The DHS will provide a limited window for some DACA recipients whose work permits expire before March 5, 2018 to apply to renew those permits. Such individuals must apply for renewal before October 5, administration officials said in a briefing call with reporters.

Former DACA recipients whose work permits expire will be considered to be in the United States without permission and are eligible for removal, but they will be a low priority for immigration enforcement, the officials said.