The White House is expected to announce a decision about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Tuesday, with early media reports indicating the president will end the program that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation for the last five years.
Officials who described the move to journalists said it would come with a six-month delay meant to give Congress time to address the issue. Lawmakers were not involved in instituting the program, which was created through an executive order by former President Barack Obama.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to give a briefing addressing DACA, but the Justice Department says he will not be answering reporters' questions. Trump's public schedule Tuesday does not include anything related to the program.
A protest is planned in front of the White House Tuesday morning in support of DACA and its recipients -- some 800,000 people across the country, brought to the United States as children. Demonstrations are also expected in other cities across the United States.
President Donald Trump came into office with a promise to eliminate DACA, but at times seems to ease up on that rhetoric; since his inauguration, however, the president has prioritized bolstering the country's deportation system, calling for thousands more immigration and border agents to be hired.
"DACA is not legislation, it's executive action and the president could rightfully abandon it altogether or piece by piece," explains David Abraham, professor of immigration and citizenship law at the University of Miami School of Law.
Unclear Monday was what would happen if Congress did not take any action before the six-month window ended, or what happens to someone whose work permit comes up for renewal during that period.
Ahead of the administration's announcement, the states of New York and Washington said if Trump does end DACA, they will challenge the decision in court.
"We should not and cannot sit on the sidelines and watch the lives of these young people ruined," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "We have both a legal and moral obligation to make sure that the laws are faithfully executed without discrimination or animus."
House Speaker Paul Ryan and several other Republican lawmakers are urging the president not to cancel the program. Ryan says he believes Congress should come up with a way of protecting people now in the DACA program.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has asked Ryan to work with Democrats this week to find a legislative solution for the people sometimes referred to as "Dreamers."
There are DACA supporters on both sides of the political aisle in the United States, but key members of Trump's inner circle - including Attorney General Sessions - and many Republican members of Congress are vocal opponents who have criticized the program's creation as executive overreach.
The Obama administration began the program in 2012 to allow young undocumented immigrants who met the requirements to lawfully remain in the country to work and study, in a semi-legal status that has to be renewed every two years. It does not provide a path to citizenship, however.
The majority of DACA-eligible people are from Mexico, followed by Guatemala, El Salvador, South Korea, Honduras, and China.