Last week, the House passed a bill creating a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers. And while Joe Biden and the Democrats are taking credit for the legislation, Donald Trump and the Republican Party should get the credit because they have supported and fought for DACA and amnesty/citizenship for DREAMers for many, many years.
In a December 2016 Time Magazine interview for their “Person of the Year” edition, president-elect Trump was asked about the millions of DREAMers in the country and his campaign promise to deport millions of illegals:
“We’re going to 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.” (emphasis mine)
A few months after his inauguration, Trump took his first steps to save DACA and create a pathway to citizenship when he issued an in-name-only executive order “rescinding” Obama’s order. Instead of rescinding it, Trump gave Congress six months to make it permanent . . . or else. In other words, his order was a lie. In a series of tweets no longer available due to his suspension, Trump said:
Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017
Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017
…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017
In January, 2018, Trump channeled his inner Jeb Bush when he introduced what he called “a bill of love” to fix DACA and provide citizenship to DREAMers. In a meeting with Democrats at the time, Trump said that his position on DACA would be whatever Congress tells him it should be, and he agreed to sign any DACA deal brought to his desk because he had “confidence” Congress would come up with something “really good.” He also promised to “take the heat” from his base for lying about ending DACA.
When the Supreme Court agreed in late 2019 to hear a challenge by the Trump administration to a lower court ruling that blocked the “repeal” of DACA, Trump assured Democrats and DREAMers they had nothing to worry about:
Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from “angels.” Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2019
Trump never had to put his money where his mouth is on this one because the Supreme Court ruled in favor of DACA based on a technicality.
Trump held a meeting in March 2020 with Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio — two of the founders of the pro-amnesty Gang of Eight — along with a veritable who’s who of faux conservatives like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Martha McSally, and Josh Hawley to come up with the best way to betray the American people and still get their votes.
Also in attendance at this meeting was Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner. Ivanka’s husband had been working with Graham to create a plan granting amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for millions of DREAMers by making DACA permanent. The two of them were charter members of Sen. John Cornyn’s Gang of 20 — a group formed to do the work Graham’s Gang of Eight failed to do — and were the architects of a January 2019 offer to Democrats to save DACA in exchange for border wall funding . . . WITHOUT CONDITIONS!
In July 2020, Trump said in a Telemundo interview that he would be signing “a very major immigration bill” within 30 days that would not only save DACA but would provide a “road to citizenship” for DREAMers already enrolled in the program. In a clear display of his ignorance of the Constitution, Trump referred to his executive order as a “bill.”
Trump: “One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We are going to have a road to citizenship.” pic.twitter.com/M926cty8A1
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 10, 2020
“I’m going to do a big executive order. I have the power to do it as president. And I’m going to make DACA a part of it.
“I’m going to be doing an immigration bill. One of the aspects of the bill that you will be very happy with, and that a lot of people will be, including me and a lot of Republicans, by the way, will be DACA. It gives them a road to citizenship.” (emphasis mine)
As we all know, whenever Trump promised to do something by a certain date it was usually a lie, and this promise was no exception. 30 days came and went. Instead, Trump decided to conduct a “review” of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, effectively kicking DACA can down the road past the 2020 election.
Obviously caught in a lie, Trump added a little icing to his re-election cake by allowing DREAMers protected by DACA at the time to renew their status for one year.
This brings us to the bill passed in the House last week. The Dream and Promise Act (DPA) passed 228-197, and it gives DREAMers what they’ve always wanted: amnesty and a pathway to citizenship. In addition, DPA provides a way for those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to apply for citizenship.
Obviously, DPA is supported by Joe Biden, even though it “only” naturalizes approximately 4.5 million illegals — far short of the 11 million number he proposed last month. “There certainly is part of the proposal that the president outlined and proposed on Day One that is an earned pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at the time.
Unsurprisingly, DPA is receiving some faux outrage from Republicans because #DemocratsAreEvil, even though these same Republicans have been fighting for DACA and amnesty for DREAMers for years.
“Biden has lost control of the U.S.-Mexico border,” Lindsey Graham said last week. “Until he regains control, by implementing policies that work, it will be hard to do the DREAMers or anything else.”
In the end, Trump and the Republican Party never intended to rescind DACA because they’ve always favored creating amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions of DREAMers and other illegals. And they don’t object to DPA because it’s a bad deal; they object because it’s a Democrat deal. Republicans want exactly what the Democrats want; they just want a big “R” at the end of it.
After all, it was their idea in the first place.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.