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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump could trigger a furious response from corporations and some members of his own staff if he green-lights a plan under consideration at the White House to end DACA, the Obama-era policy that suspends deportation of some undocumented workers who arrived as children.

  • I'm told some top CEOs, including leaders in tech and retail, plan to be tough and vocal if Trump ends the policy. But they're keeping quiet for now because they fear antagonizing him on a question that could have massive implications for their workforces.
  • A top Silicon Valley executive told me: "There's no issue that's more gut-wrenching for us. These are people who came out of the shadows, got jobs and mortgages — we see this as betraying fellow Americans. ... This is consuming a ton of time at every major company."
  • Some multinationals are even making contingency plans to move vulnerable workers to overseas locations.

Why it matters: Trump has faced an escalating revolt from CEOs — starting with the Muslim ban, increasing with his climate-change decision, and peaking with his handling of Charlottesville. Scores of high profile CEOs would pummel him publicly if he clears the way for mass deportation of kids.

  • A similar dynamic has unfolded with his own staff, many of whom have faced pressure in social and family circles with each controversial move. Imagine the blowback if they stood by silently as kids were deported.
  • One person close to the White House said: "This is different. This is families being torn apart. This is something that will follow [the aides] when they go back to real life."

The president has publicly agonized over the DACA decision — publicly lamenting its ugly human consequences — in a way he hasn't with other impending policies.

But senior officials tell us the majority view inside the Trump administration is that DACA is illegal, and the only way to deal with the problem of illegal immigrants who arrived here as children is for Congress to act.

It's for that reason that some top aides expect Trump will terminate it, even though he knows the backlash would be intense:

  • Axios' Jonathan Swan was first to report last week that Trump was seriously considering rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides work and study permits for about 750,000 people.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a strong opponent of the program, contending that it's not legal. The White House said yesterday that no decision has been made.
  • The N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman tweeted that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly "has said moving ahead with a DACA-ending decision right now makes little sense."
  • Ending DACA could put 700,000 jobs at risk, according to research released yesterday by FWD.us, a pro-immigration reform group co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg, and the Center for American Progress, with data from the Cato Institute.

Be smart: The Harvey catastrophe in the border state of Texas make the optics of the decision even more brutal for the White House. So some top Republicans increasingly hope Trump, who was inclined to back his attorney general, will find a less drastic way to fend off conservative legal challenges to the program.

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Go deeper

12 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

13 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 13 hours ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."