The Democratic whip who has been working on compromise immigration legislation said President Trump’s speech late last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference shows that Trump really wants to deport 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiaries.
After canceling DACA, Trump set a March 5 deadline for Congress to pass a solution to prevent the illegal immigrants brought to the country as children from being removed from the United States.
“The Senate Democrats and the House Democrats have totally abandoned DACA. They’ve total — they don’t even talk to me about it. They have totally abandoned. You know, we get the reputation — like DACA, it’s not Republican. We’ll let me tell you, it is Republican, because we want to do something about DACA, get it solved after all these years,” Trump told CPAC on Friday.
“The Democrats are being totally unresponsive. They don’t want to do anything about DACA, I’m telling you,” he added. “And it’s very possible that DACA won’t happen, and it’s not because of the Republicans, it’s going to be because of the Democrats. And frankly, you better elect more Republicans, folks, or it will never happen.”
On MSNBC this morning, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said “it turns out his goal is the deportation of DREAMers,” so-named after the long-stalled DREAM Act.
“He wants to see these young people who have been raised in America, have proven themselves in America, and want to be part of our future to leave and their parents with them,” Durbin said.
“This president is reviving sentiments we have not seen for 90 years plus in America, anti-immigration sentiments,” he added. “They are no longer making arguments about employment, it is about the kind of people who come in. As the president said in my presence, we want more Europeans, we want Norwegians to come in. Try to figure that out. It takes about a split second to understand what he’s saying.”
As of March 5, barring legislative action or continued protection from the courts, “1,000 of these young people a day will be subject to deportation,” Durbin warned.
“Twenty thousand of them are teachers across America, will be leaving the classrooms and many of them in struggling school districts because of this president’s decision. And we came to him with a bipartisan bill, Lindsey Graham, myself, Jeff Flake, Corey Gardner, we put together a bill with Mike Bennet, Bob Menendez and said here it is, Mr. President, we’re giving a lot more than we ever thought we would. It’s a compromise. He rejected it,” he said.
The White House has been insisting on immigration reforms linked to saving DACA, namely limiting family reuinification and ending the diversity visa lottery, but Dems have branded those requests non-starters and GOP compromise bills have left both out.
Durbin acknowledged challenges in the House. “As you can tell from the CPAC speech, the snake speech, it’s raw meat to the right wing. And there are those in the House who subscribe to that same point of view,” he said.
Trump tweeted Saturday, “Dems are no longer talking DACA! ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ they say. DACA beneficiaries should not be happy. Nancy Pelosi truly doesn’t care about them. Republicans stand ready to make a deal!”