Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are among a set of White House aides pushing President Trump to allow illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to stay, in an effort to get Democrats to fund the president’s border wall.
McClatchy reported that the group of White House officials have suggested using so-called ‘Dreamers’ as a bargaining chip, in order to check off some of the president’s campaign promises on immigration, including the wall, additional detention facilities, an E-verify system for employers and cuts to legal immigration.
However, such a move would break another campaign promise, as candidate Donald Trump had pledged to supporters last August to ‘immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties,’ including DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Some of President Trump’s top aides, including family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, want him to give protections to Dreamers in order to get Democrats on board a bigger immigration plan
But now with much of Trump’s agenda sputtering on Capitol Hill, the first daughter and her husband have formed an alliance with new Chief of Staff John Kelly in support of this plan.
Vice President Mike Pence, along with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn, are also believed to agree, McClatchy said.
‘They are holding this out as a bargaining chip for other things,’ Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Reform, told McClatchy.
Mehlman’s group opposes offering protections to Dreamers and has been in talks with the White House.
On the other side of the coin are advisers like Stephen Miller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who’d like to see the Dreamers deported. Sessions was Miller’s former boss.
McClatchy revealed that Miller was told not to brief the president on the issue anymore, according to two sources privy to the discussions, as the president has a tendency to side with the last person making the argument in the room.
‘The president knows where Stephen Miller stands,’ a former Trump adviser told McClatchy. ‘It was discussed in the primary and general election. A new conversation is not going to change anything.’
Kelly, the president’s original pick to lead Homeland Security who was appointed to the role of chief of staff last month, has been carefully watching which aides talk to Trump.
President Obama implemented DACA in 2012 and it protects approximately 750,000 people.
As it entered its fifth year, Trump was already under pressure to make a decision about the program’s future.
Ten states have threatened to sue the government if the president doesn’t overturn DACA by September 5.
Another 20 states, led by California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra, are urging the president to refuse that request.
Trump coming out in support of the Dreamers, like he hinted he might in February, when he said he would treat them with ‘great heart,’ looked like good politics, said some Republicans.
‘It’s smart for them to use it,’ one Republican, with close ties to the White House, told McClatchy.
Though not everyone was impressed.
‘It is abhorrent for the Trump administration to treat the lives and futures of Dreamers, including 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, as bargaining chips to further its racist agenda,’ said Lorella Praeli, the director of immigration and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union.