President Trump and his administration announced their intention this week to terminate the Obama-era immigration policy known as DACA -- the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. Beginning in June of 2007, DACA allowed children under the age of 16 to remain in the US. 787,580 such people exist, and now President Trump has announced his intention to have them deported. In the age of Trump, it is easy to forget that the GOP was not always so staunchly anti-undocumented immigrant.

Reagan, Gingrich and the old GOP on immigration

The majority of the GOP's base is unaware of the fact that Republican saint Ronald Reagan supported "amnesty" for the undocumented.

During a 1984 presidential debate, Ronald Reagan said: "I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." He went on to sign the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, "which granted amnesty to 2.7 million undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the U.S. before 1982."

During the 2008 presidential race, infighting on the Republican side ensued -- particularly centered around the debate over so-called "amnesty" for undocumented people. Newt Gingrich, seen as a moderate Republican, stood up against immigration hardliner Michelle Bachman, arguing that the Republican party could not simultaneously be the "party of family values" while deporting undocumented families.

Liberal Trump v. Conservative Trump

President Trump, unbeknownst to himself today, was once rather liberal on the issue of immigration. During an appearance on Fox and Friends in 2008, Mr. Trump made the case for amnesty and blasted fellow Republican Michelle Bachman for proposing a total deportation policy.

Trump argued that his disagreement with Bachman and support for amnesty lied within the "compassion" he felt for the undocumented in America.

He's the "most Conservative" person there is, he said. But on the issue of immigration, compassion, according to Trump, must override Conservatism. Such compassion is lacking in 2017 from President Trump.

The Trump administration has granted Congress a six-month time frame to either legislate in opposition or in agreement with the White House's reversal of DACA.

All the while, the fate of nearly 800,00 people will hang in the balance. The effect of Trump's reversal of DACA will be felt, of course, primarily by those targeted by it, the large majority deported "home" to a country they have never known. The move will also surely hit Trump politically and also have a negative effect on the economy.