WASHINGTON (AP) — After an afternoon of mixed messages, the White House confirmed Friday that President Donald Trump’s decision on whether to rescind federal protections for immigrant children brought into the country illegally will be announced Tuesday.
Throughout the day on Friday, the president himself repeatedly suggested the announcement could come at any time.
“We’ll issued it sometime over the weekend; sometime today or over the weekend, we’ll have a decision,” Trump told reporters during a brief availability at the White House late Friday morning.
“Maybe this afternoon,” he added.
Asked whether those dependent on those protections, a group referred to as “Dreamers,” should be worried, the president said, “We love the Dreamers. We love everybody. … We think the Dreamers are terrific.”
Later, during a second interaction with reporters, Trump suggested the decision could be announced Saturday, Sunday or even Monday.
It was left to White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders to clarify the timing of the announcement, which she said would come on Tuesday.
“The president’s priorities on immigration are to create a system that encourages legal immigration and benefits our economy and American workers. The president has been very clear, he loves people and he wants to make sure this decision is done correctly,” Sanders said.
But even as Trump spoke, members of his own party were bracing for the backlash if he does, in fact, do away with the protections.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and another Republican are urging Trump not to go that route.
“I actually don’t think we should do that,” Ryan told Wisconsin radio station WCLO when asked about doing away with the program. “This is something that Congress has to fix.”
Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch has also spoken out, sending out a statement in which he urged Trump not to revoke former President Barack Obama’s efforts to protect “individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here.”