President Trump’s forthcoming decision on the fate of so-called Dreamers – unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before adulthood – could have far-reaching consequences not only for his quest for immigration reform and an impenetrable border wall.
As the Washington Examiner reported last week, Trump is under mounting pressure to terminate or phase out the Obama-era Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program that protects nearly 800,000 undocumented youth before a coalition of conservative state attorneys general sue his administration for what they see as unlawful amnesty.
To avoid a messy legal challenge, he must make a decision by next Tuesday – the day Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said he will amend an existing federal court case against the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program to include a legal challenge to DACA.
Congress, which did not create the program and could only stop Trump from canceling it by passing replacement legislation, is set to return to Washington the same day. Top Capitol Hill aides who anticipate Trump will end DACA said that doing so in the middle of spending negotiations would almost guarantee the denial of his request for border wall funding.
“It would really shake up the place if he discontinues DACA, since that’s something that most people thought he had settled on,” a senior House GOP aide told the Washington Examiner. “I think things would get really toxic really quickly in the immigration space, which would ultimately bleed into any debate over the wall.”
House Republicans passed a bill last month containing $1.6 billion in funding for the updates to the border, including the construction of a physical barrier between the United States and Mexico. Trump, who insisted Monday that he still plans to force Mexico to finance the wall, has twice threatened a government shutdown over border security funding.
A Democratic Senate aide said Trump “would be dropping a bomb” into his effort to “inveigh and bully Congress into supporting a wall” if he moves to kill DACA.
“And that’s to say nothing of the catastrophic impact to human life ending DACA would have,” the aide added.
By Gabby Morrongiello for WASHINGTON EXAMINER
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