Strange bedfellows: Carter defends Trump
ATLANTA (AP) — President Donald Trump has an unlikely defender of his approach to immigration law: former President Jimmy Carter.
Speaking to Georgia college students, the 39th president expressed optimism Wednesday that Trump might break a legislative logjam with his six-month deadline for Congress to address the immigration status of 800,000-plus U.S. residents who were brought to the country illegally as children.
As the 92-year-old Democrat spoke at Emory University in Atlanta, Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi of California and Chuck Schumer of New York were huddled with the Republican Trump at the White House. Afterward, Pelosi and Schumer announced a deal they said would protect young immigrants from deportation and grant some Republican demands on border security.
Trump offered his own take Thursday morning via Twitter. He expressed sympathy for the young immigrants affected by the debate over the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, created by an executive order of President Barack Obama.
But Trump also wrote that, “No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” he wrote.
And he maintained that a U.S.-Mexico border wall “will continue to be built,” though Pelosi and Schumer said that’s not part of any agreement.
Carter, not privy to the negotiations in Washington, told Emory students Wednesday evening that the “pressures and the publicity that Trump has brought to the immigration issue” could eventually yield comprehensive immigration law changes that George W. Bush and Obama could not muster in their presidencies.
“I don’t see that as a hopeless cause,” Carter said, and he added that Trump’s critics, including himself, “have to give him credit when he does some things that are not as bad” as they are depicted.