AUSTIN, TX - Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday morning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA will be rescinded.
"Our collective wisdom is that the policy is vulnerable to the same legal and constitutional challenges that the courts recognized with respect to the DACA program," Sessions said.
"The Department of Homeland Security should begin an orderly, lawful wind-down, including the cancellation of the memo that authorized this program," he added.
Since 2012, 800,000 immigrants who were brought into the United States as children have obtained legal protection thanks to DACA.
The program is expected to be phased out over the next six months.
"To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interests, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It's just that simple," Sessions said.
The decision was seemingly forced by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other republican Attorneys General who said they planned to extend their lawsuit against DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) to include DACA if the Trump Administration didn't take action by September 5.
So what happens now?
"The Trump Administration has essentially lobbed this ball into the court of, into Congress' court. And now Congress will have to decide whether and how to act on this and that's going to be a substantial fight in a lot of ways," said James Henson, Director of The Texas Politics Project.
Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) said he's ready to lead that fight and will work to pass legislation similar to the Dreamers Act of 2010. It passed in the House but failed in the Senate.
"I'm hopeful that we can somehow manage to get approval at least for these young people who've known no other country but America in the main, who've cleared a criminal background check, who are contributing to our community right now," said Doggett.
"It's just wrong to leave them hanging," he added.
But that will likely be a tough sell with his colleagues across the aisle. Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX), who also represents Austin, applauded the decision.
He released the following statement:
President Obama's executive actions regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program were unconstitutional - I am glad we have an administration that recognizes the importance of the rule-of-law. Congress needs to do its job and as we begin to debate this important issue, it is my hope that we pursue legislation that makes our country safer and stronger. We need to do all of this with the goal of inspiring people to legally pursue the American Dream.
But not all republicans are on the same page.
"The republican party is internally divided and what this does is really, once again brings out some of these conflicts inside the republican party," said Henson.
In the meantime, the future of Dreamers is left hanging in the balance. Administration officials tell ABC News new DACA applications dated after September 5, 2017 won't be considered. Applications filed before September 5 will continue to be processed.
People with DACA permits that expire between now and March 5, 2018 have 30 days to apply for a two-year renewal, but for others, legal status could end as soon as March 6, 2018.
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