DACA is still hanging by a thread, and Trump will not back down
According to media reports on Tuesday, President Trump is not willing to change his terms in negotiating the future of immigrants unless they cave into his every whim.
After ending the month of January with a government shutdown, Trump still believes that the balance leans to his side. The pressure exerted on the Congress - more specifically on the Democrats - is his favorite tool and, with it, the amount of guilt that he claims to attribute to the only party that has sided with the undocumented youth who arrived in the country during childhood (Dreamers).
"If we have to shut the government down because the Democrats don’t want security or take care of our military, then shut it down," Trump told reporters on Tuesday during a panel of law enforcement on gang violence in the White House, according to the BBC.
Just hours before, his chief of staff, John Kelly, said that the president did not contemplate the possibility of extending the deadline (March 5) given to Congress to replace the program of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA.
Also, Kelly said he would not support a deferral of the deadline because "they (Congress) only work under pressure", but assuring that the decision was in the president’s hands.
For its part, a group of representatives called "Gang of Six" has outlined several bipartisan proposals, in collaboration with Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) And Chris Coons (D-Del.), as reported by POLITICO.
However, for the head of the cabinet, the President's proposal (to open the path to the naturalization of Dreamers in exchange for the approval of his package of immigration measures) "has been more than generous", covering young immigrants "who were too afraid to sign up (to the temporary renewal of the program) or who are too lazy to get off their asses and register."
"I can’t imagine men and women of goodwill who have begged this president to solve the problem of DACA, and as generous as [his] four pillars has been, I can’t imagine they would vote against it," Kelly said at the press conference in the Capitol. "I mean, this is more than they could’ve imagined."
For this administration, then, the legal mechanisms are not only based on the vulgar barter of the lives of 800,000 citizens but on the necessity of begging the president.
And as a "gesture of goodwill," Kelly closed his statements by assuring that Dreamers "will not be a priority for deportation" even if Congress doesn’t reach an agreement. "If you are an illegal alien in this country, you’re obeying the law, you are not a target for priority."
Finally, we will have to wait to see if the efforts of the legislators can give a result despite the Administration's campaign to discredit the immigrants.
For the moment, there is a certain inclination in the Republican caucus to put the debate of the Dreamers at the center of the issue.
The minority leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said on Wednesday that both she and "a large number of Democrats will oppose a spending deal to keep the government open unless she’s guaranteed a vote on immigration legislation”, the Washington Post reported.
For legislators, the imminent fear is that a spending plan will be approved without finding a definitive solution to the DACA program while the amount of the national debt continues to increase.
If Congress does not agree, the government will restart its closure at midnight on Thursday.