"DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” Trump tweeted on Sunday referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
Former US President Barack Obama created the DACA program in 2012 to enable some young undocumented immigrants in the country to obtain two-year permits to stay legally, work and attend school.
Trump, however, described Obama’s actions as unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power emphasizing that he will kill the program unless Congress sends him legislation by March to keep it.
Since it went into effect, roughly 800,000 young immigrants, commonly known Dreamers, were protected by the program, and roughly 700,000 had active DACA protections in September, when the Trump administration announced its end.
Last week, he rejected an immigration deal drafted by a bipartisan group of senators.
Trump on Sunday also said he wants immigrants coming to the US "based on merit."
"I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST," Trump said.
That tweet comes after controversy over a report that said Trump referred to immigrants from African nations, El Salvador and Haiti as coming from "shithole countries" during a White House meeting with lawmakers last week.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” the US president reportedly said then.
Trump’s immigration policies have sparked protests both inside the US and abroad since he took office in January. He pledged to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and keep Latin American immigrants from illegally entering the country by building a wall on the border with Mexico.