President Barack Obama said he hoped that President-elect Donald Trump would consider helping illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children who were granted amnesty by his 2012 executive order.
“I will urge the president-elect and the incoming administration to think long and hard before they are endangering the status of what for all practical purposes are American kids,” Obama said.
Obama’s controversial DACA and DAPA executive orders were criticized for lacking permanent protection for children of illegal immigrants and their parents, but activists were hopeful that Obama would be succeeded by a Democrat or a Republican more sympathetic to their plight.
Obama defended them, asserting that they belonged in the country.
“By definition, if they’re part of this program, they are solid, wonderful young people of good character,” Obama said.
He suggested that the majority of Americans still supported his decision.
“It is my strong belief that the majority of the American people would not want to see suddenly those kids have to start hiding again,” he said.