The Trump administration has let stand former President Obama's order protecting so-called DREAMers, unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, from deportation. And President Trump said Friday that young people protected under this policy “should rest easy.”
Sessions, in an exclusive interview Sunday on “This Week,” told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, “There’s no doubt the president has sympathy for young people who were brought here at early ages.”
He also said the Department of Homeland Security's “first and strongest priority -- no doubt about it" is to arrest unauthorized immigrants who have committed crimes. "They’re focusing primarily on that,” he said.
“We don't have the ability to round up everybody and there's no plans to do that,” Sessions said. “But we're going to focus first, as the president has directed us, on the criminal element and we've got to get that under control.”
Pressed by Stephanopoulos on whether DREAMers can “rest easy” as the president said, Sessions said, “Well, we’ll see. I believe that everyone who enters the country illegally is subject to being deported.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, President Trump said, “We aren't looking to do anything right now” about DREAMers.
When the president was asked if the official policy of his administration is to allow DREAMers to stay in the country, he gave a definitive “yes.”
“That's our policy,” Trump said. “Long-term we are going to have to fix the problem, the whole immigration problem ... Here is what they can hear: The DREAMers should rest easy. OK? I'll give you that. The DREAMers should rest easy.”
Striking a different tone than President Trump on DREAMers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “everyone that enters the country unlawfully is subject to being deported.”