President Barack Obama on Monday said he will urge Donald Trump to “think long and hard” before endangering young undocumented immigrants.
Speaking at his first news conference since the presidential election, Obama was asked if he could do anything to shield the information of thousands of undocumented immigrants who received protections from deportation under his executive actions from Trump.
"I will urge the president-elect and the upcoming administration to think long and hard before they are endangering the status of what for all practical purposes are American kids,” Obama said. “These are kids, who were brought here by their parents, they did nothing wrong. They’ve pledged allegiance to the flag.”
He did not address the issue of protecting their information, which has some beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program concerned.
Obama said that if they have DACA, which also gave them permission to work, "they’re solid, wonderful young people."
Trump has pledged to end DACA, calling it "one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president."
More than 700,000 young immigrants were shielded from deportation and received work permits under Obama’s 2012 executive actions.
“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,” Obama said, "and that’s something that I will encourage the president-elect to look at."