Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has urged US President Donald Trump not to scrap a former President Barrack Obama-era programme that protects young undocumented immigrants.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme provides temporary residency for children brought to the US illegally, BBC reported on Friday.
It protects hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers” from deportation and provides work and study permits. Trump had previously said that he planned to “terminate” the programme.
The White House now says Trump will announce his decision on Tuesday. Ryan urged the president to allow Congress to “work” on the issue.
He said that “conversations” had taken place “with the White House” and that Trump also wanted to find “a humane solution to this problem”.
“There are people that are in limbo,” Ryan said, adding: “These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home.”
House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi said that she was “heartened” by Ryan’s comments and asked him to meet with Democratic lawmakers next week to discuss a “comprehensive legislative solution”.
Ryan’s comments place him among a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers to speak out against scrapping the immigration programme created in 2012 by former Democrat President Barack Obama.
A hard-line stance on immigration was a major theme of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and deportations have increased since he took office in January.
However business leaders have argued that immigration boosts the US economy and that ending the Daca programme would hit economic growth and tax revenue.