DACA deal or no deal? ‘Dream­ers’ wait as Trump, law­mak­ers joust

Ripon Bulletin - - Nation -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — The fate of 800,000 young im­mi­grants hung in the bal­ance Thurs­day as top law­mak­ers, White House of­fi­cials and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump him­self squab­bled over whether an agree­ment had been struck to pro­tect them — and if so, ex­actly what it was.

In the face of an in­tense back­lash from con­ser­va­tives in­side the Capi­tol and out, Speaker Paul Ryan and other GOP House mem­bers adamantly in­sisted that there was no agree­ment to en­shrine pro­tec­tions for the im­mi­grants brought to America as chil­dren and now here il­le­gally.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Se­nate Repub­li­can, put it this way: There was “a deal to make a deal.”

Trump him­self said he was “fairly close” to an agree­ment that could pro­tect the young “Dream­ers” while also adding bor­der se­cu­rity, as long as his long-promised wall with Mex­ico was also sep­a­rately ad­dressed. Demo­cratic lead­ers Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer — whose din­ner with Trump Wed­nes­day night was at the heart of the con­tro­versy — in­sisted there was dis­cus­sion and even agree­ment on leg­is­la­tion that would of­fer even­tual cit­i­zen­ship to the im­mi­grants in ques­tion.

“We agreed it would be the DREAM Act,” Schumer told re­porters, re­fer­ring to a bi­par­ti­san bill that would al­low im­mi­grants brought here as chil­dren and now in the U.S. il­le­gally to work their way to cit­i­zen­ship in as lit­tle as five years if they meet cer­tain re­quire­ments.

But one per­son fa­mil­iar with the meet­ing said the pres­i­dent had agreed not to the DREAM Act, but to nar­rower leg­is­la­tion that would make per­ma­nent the pro­tec­tions of­fered by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram.

What was clear was that the out­come for the “Dream­ers” them­selves was still un­re­solved and sub­ject to much fur­ther de­bate and ne­go­ti­a­tion — and that the pol­i­tics of im­mi­gra­tion, which has de­feated Congress for years, re­mained as tricky and explosive as ever.

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