The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Welcome to the USA, kid

Getty Images

President Trump made a campaign promise to deport kids who came to the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own.

I’m hoping he breaks this vow.

{mosads}The McClatchy news service reports that administration power players including the president’s daughter and son-in-law are encouraging him to reverse his campaign promise to revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and to ask Congress to make the program permanent in exchange for a deal.

The McClatchy-reported proposal would entail Trump asking Congress to permanently legalize the hundreds of thousands of people brought here illegally when they were minors.

Such a move could be immensely popular as suggested by an April Morning Consult poll finding 78 percent of respondents favored permanently legalizing these people.

Amazingly, 73 percent of Trump supporters also favored legalization for the DACA people, otherwise known as “Dreamers.”

In exchange, according to the report, President Trump would ask Congress for money to build his “beautiful wall,” more detention centers for federally-held people to be “removed” and, nationally required electronic-employee verification (e-verify).

As for legal immigration, he asks for support to cut legal immigration by half under new legislation by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (R) and Georgia Sen. David Perdue (R) that changes the 50-year-old family reunification policy to a “merit” Canadian-style immigration system.

Aside: President Trump’s grandparents or his mother could not qualify to immigrate to the U.S. under the Cotton/Purdue proposal.

According to McClatchy, the group of backers of keeping DACA include former and current White House chiefs of staff, Reince Priebus and John Kelly, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who both serve as presidential advisers.

“Others who have not been as vocal publicly about their stance but are thought to agree include Vice President Mike Pence, who as a congressman worked on a failed immigration deal that called for citizenship, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, a Democrat who serves as director of the National Economic Council,” the piece reads.

President Trump hinted at making DACA permanent on Feb. 16, just days after he was sworn in as president. Now, in view of his 180-degree change on Afghanistan, the McClatchy report makes a great deal of sense.

The apparent opposition in the administration is from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and two of his former employees: Steve Miller, senior White House staffer, and Rick Dearborn, deputy chief-of-staff.

Sessions has targeted any person in-country illegally for his entire Washington career. On the other hand, the other side cut Miller off from pushing President Trump to shut down DACA in the early days of the administration.

The only fly in the ointment appears to be funding for Trump’s infamous promised wall.

Mexico has no intention of funding it, no border senator has indicated any support and the president needs 60 or more senators to vote for funding to help get it built.

Hard-core anti-immigrant organizations are likely to savagely turn on Trump if he breaks his campaign promise.

Some of these groups can be found highlighted on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, including the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA. 

Are McClatchy’s White House reports true?

If so, hundreds of thousands of people we see in colleges, working alongside us with work permits, sitting next to us in churches on Sunday and waiting to fill the U.S. Army slots it can’t fill with native-born Americans – they, will be legal.

Will President Trump come on television again and display a change of heart about kids brought here as kids?

Some 78 percent of polled Americans, U.S. Army recruiters and a million or more “Dreamers” hope so. 

Raoul Lowery Contreras is the author of “The Armenian Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” (Berkeley Press, 2017) and “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade” (Floricanto Press, 2016); he formerly wrote for the New York Times’ New America news service.

This piece has been updated from an earlier version.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

Tags DACA Dreamers Immigration reform Jeff Sessions Jeff Sessions John Kelly Mike Pence Tom Cotton

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video