U.S President Trump has formally ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program that granted amnesty for young people who were brought into the country illegally and prevented them from being deported.

The legality of the program have always been questioned, but in June, a group of 10 Republican state officials wrote to the President urging him to terminate the program early September or they take the matter to court.

Trump could have chosen to heed the advice of religious leaders, notable business leaders, civil rights organisations and politicians who were strongly against calling off the program as it benefited the country economically, but Trump chose not to.

Who are the DACA recipients?

They are illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors, receiving a two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligible for a work permit. A program founded by the Obama administration in June 2012. A key difference between beneficiaries and others such as regular citizens and green cards holders is that they have no permanent residence status.

Trailing disapprovals

The decision has drawn disapproval from key figures and led thousands into the streets. Hundreds of people on Tuesday protested in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities in the U.S.

Senator John McCain called Trump’s decision the “wrong approach”, while Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, said he hoped the U.S Congress ensure “those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country”.

Former President Barack Obama in a post on Facebook bashed the decision saying “To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It’s a political decision, and a moral question,” Obama wrote, and hoped the lawmakers pass a bill allowing those who are eligible for the DACA remain in the U.S.

Former Vice President Joe Biden also lent his voice to the trailing criticism of the decision, he tweeted “Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here.

Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,”.

The backdrop of this decision is that once a DACA recipient’ status expires over the course of the next two years, he automatically becomes an undocumented immigrants. Thus, will no longer be allowed to work or have driver’s licences.

Although the risk of being deported now heightens but the Department of Homeland Security has assured they would only go after those who have committed crimes.