Strange bed­fel­lows: Carter de­fends Trump

Manteca Bulletin - - Nation -

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.

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