Trump ruffles his base by going soft on DREAMers, but is it part of a larger deal?

From the very first day he announced his intention to run for the presidency, Donald Trump’s hawkish immigration stand both solidified his base and made him an object of fear, scorn and derision to liberals.

One of candidate Trump’s promises early on was to “immediately terminate” DACA, the program which allows the hundreds of thousands of people who came to this country as children to avoid deportation as so-called “DREAMers.”

“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants,”  Trump said during an August speech in Phoenix.”In a Trump Administration, all immigration laws will be enforced. As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities. But, unlike this Administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement — and ICE and Border Patrol officers will be allowed to do their jobs. Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation — that is what it means to have laws and to have a country.”

But now, Trump seems to have reversed this position entirely. In a Friday interview with the Associated Press, Trump said that his administration is “not after the dreamers.”

Instead, “we are after the criminals. That is our policy.”

This is indeed a reversal from the campaign trail, but it seems like Trump has been gravitating toward it for a while. In addition to his communications team avoiding direct answers when questioned about the DACA issue, according to the Daily Caller, then president-elect Trump told Time in December that his administration would “work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

And even Trump’s August Arizona speech seems nuanced to some degree. As a part of the above referenced quote, which comprised point six of a 10-point immigration policy, Trump said, “Our enforcement priorities will include removing criminals, gang members, security threats, visa overstays, public charges – that is, those relying on public welfare or straining the safety net, along with millions of recent illegal arrivals and overstays who’ve come here under the current Administration.

Point three was “Zero tolerance for criminal aliens,” which seemed to put an emphasis in overt criminality, not simply being brought here as a child.

“Moving forward, we will issue detainers for all illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever, and they will be placed into immediate removal proceedings,” Trump said in August.

Immigration hawks do not like Trump’s current position:

There is also the school of thought that says that Trump’s position could be part of a potential larger immigration deal. After all, to get anything done legislatively he will need some Democrat support to avoid a Senate filibuster.

Others were in favor of Trump’s position, or at least willing to trust him:

And then there’s always this, of course, which we all can agree with!

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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Scott Morefield


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