Posted: 5:43 pm Friday, February 17th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
In the face of widespread calls from Republicans to end a special Obama Administration plan that allowed certain younger illegal immigrants to avoid being deported, President Donald Trump signaled again this week that he is not yet ready to simply shut down the “DACA” program, disappointing some of his supporters, but drawing hopeful expressions of support from lawmakers in both parties.
“We’re going to show great heart,” the President said at a news conference on Thursday. “DACA is a very, very difficult subject.”
“It’s a very, very difficult thing for me, because I love these kids,” as Mr. Trump once more seemed to back away from his campaign promise to “immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties.”
Donald Trump on DACA: "We're going to show great heart." pic.twitter.com/3kdQYVyWrH
— Steve Saldivar (@stevesaldivar) February 16, 2017
The President’s reluctance to overturn President Obama’s DACA plan was echoed on Capitol Hill by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I’m very sympathetic to that situation,” McConnell said of immigrants known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, as a number of them grew up in the United States, having no idea that they were breaking immigration law.
“I’m anxious to see what the President decides to do,” McConnell told reporters at a Friday news conference.
The President’s words also some gave hope to Democrats.
“I’m praying that they have a carve out for DACA Dreamers,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), “but all the atmospherics surrounding the President on immigration are discouraging.”
But for many supporters of the President, the idea of not repealing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program under President Obama is absolutely unacceptable.
@KellyannePolls After promising DACA would be repealed it's now revealed DACA work permits are still being issued – this is a betrayal
— SG (@shyndixie) February 3, 2017
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said the President should have repealed DACA “on the first day” of his time in office.
“Forget about DACA renewals – DHS is still issuing NEW work permits to illegal aliens,” said Mark Krikorian, the head of the Center for Immigration Studies, which wants tougher action on illegal immigration.
And the reaction from voters on social media has run along those same lines:
— Coach Finstock (@OnwardFam) February 16, 2017
What President Trump is going to do on DACA remains unclear.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.