Government - Dems And Trump Reach Border, Immigration Agreement
The leaders of Congressional Democrats emerged from a White House meeting suggesting they had reached an agreement with Donald Trump on preserving an Obama White House policy that protects undocumented workers who were brought to the US as children. Trump's alt-right base whinged at the perceived "betrayal".
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement: "We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that's acceptable to both sides." It continued, "We also urged the President to make permanent the cost-sharing reduction payments, and those discussions will continue."
DACA stands for "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals", which is a form of administrative relief from deportation intended for young adults who were brought to the US as children by their undocumented immigrant parents or guardians. Known as the "Dreamers", most of them speak English as a first language and know practically nothing of the countries of origin - as far as they're concerned, they followed the rules and are American. Most have college educations and are putting more into the US economy than they are taking out.
The phrase "excluding the wall" suggests that Trump will push for his proposed wall along the southern border with Mexico in separate legislation. In return, it is understood that the Democrats would agree to measures that tighten border security.
A White House statement took issue with the line about the wall, but was generally upbeat: "This is a positive step toward the President's strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans," the statement said. "The administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle."
If the deal holds, it will be the second such agreement that Trump has reached with the opposition Democrats, while relations with his own Republican party are incredibly frosty.
Trump's hard-right base was apoplectic. Anti-immigration Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, who has said that the Dreamers deserve to live in the shadows, that if the news is true, "Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible."
Another GOP aide said, "Maybe tomorrow he'll support NAFTA," Referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada that protectionist righties absolutely hate.
The far-right Breitbart site - run by former White House aide Steve Bannon - squirted some bitter, salty tears over "Amnesty Don" and his decision to "cave" and "surrender" on the border wall.