The program's March 5 expiration date is not set in concrete, however - a San Francisco judge's injunction has at least temporarily blocked removal of DACA protections ordered by Trump late a year ago.
With a table of contents that runs six pages, the provisions dealing with DACA and illegal immigrant Dreamers are just one small part of a much broader immigration bill, which has already run into united opposition from Democrats.
"'All leverage is gone, ' a grim-faced Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) told reporters before the vote".
Kelly spoke as lawmakers have deadlocked in an effort to reach an immigration compromise.
Lawmakers in Washington are beginning the debate on immigration, and the outcome is anything but certain.
That deal - offering a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants - is a non-starter for Democrats, because it also would restrict legal immigration. Also, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), is preparing a three-year extension of the DACA program in return for some border money as a fallback plan.
Some 690,000 Dreamers registered under the DACA program, and 1.1 million others were eligible but did not sign up.
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DACA provides legal protections to so-called Dreamers, immigrants brought to the US illegally as children. These include lack of knowledge about the program, a worry that participating will expose them to deportation and an inability to afford registration fees. "It doesn't surprise me from Gen. Kelly", No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of IL, his party's chief immigration negotiator, said of the White House staff chief's remarks.
"The Democratic leadership: Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer have no clear message". Trump wants a deal by early next month.
"The main misconception with Deferred Action is that people assume that kids like me can apply for citizenship at any time, but there is now not a pathway through DACA", Milligan sophomore Randy Huerta, a current DACA recipient, said.
With leaders working on a separate track toward a budget pact, Trump threw a knuckle ball into the mix, saying he'd "love to see a shutdown" if Democrats didn't meet his immigration demands. Minus a breakthrough, Dreamers' best hope will be for Plan Z, a one-year extension of their protected status, which right now seems like the most likely option.
Trump gave Congress a deadline of March 5 to come up with a policy on the program and the U.S. Known as "Dreamers", participants in the program were brought to the USA illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas.