An unexpected pact
President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress appear to have reached an agreement to support undocumented young immigrants, to the surprise of the whole country.
When it comes to giving in, President Trump is not exactly the best example. That is why when Congressional minority leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced they had reached an agreement with the president to protect the Dreamers, the country was left with the mouth wide open, especially the members of the Republican party.
According to a source close to the meeting, Trump would have agreed to support the Dream Act - a bipartisan bill that will provide the permanent residency path for undocumented immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents - in exchange for a new model of border security that won’t include his desired wall, according to The Guardian.
But addressing such a consensus is not easy for Trump. Despite statements by Democratic representatives, the president denied having reached an agreement, asserting that, "massive border security will be needed in exchange."
He later agreed to support young immigrants through his Twitter account, saying, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? ...They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own”
For their part, Schumer and Pelosi issued a joint statement in which they said they had a "productive meeting" with the president, focused on DACA, and intended to negotiate the implementation of protections to the Dreamers in exchange for a border security package that will not include the wall, although the president can continue with this project independently.
For the Republican Party, this Democratic strategic move could be threatening. Despite having a majority in the legislature, Republicans have failed to respond effectively to the president's demands, partly because of their internal disagreements.
Thus, the fact that the president was the one who invited the Democrats to a dinner in Washington would imply his willingness to find alternative ways to fulfill his campaign promises.
For Steve King, one of the most radical congressmen against immigration, the outcome of the meeting between the president and the Democrats involves the "destruction" of Trump's base, which would have lost "all credibility."
Some Democrats share this view, as is the case with Neil Sroka, communications director of the Democracy for Democracy and Progressive Action Committee, who stated that “Trusting this narcissist in the White House, who just weeks ago was trying to equivocate on white supremacy, runs a real risk for Democrats.”
But for them, the real risk is whether the Republican majority will support a proposal stemming from a meeting with the President and the Democratic minority, which could be seen as a betrayal to the sense of republican superiority that has surrounded this presidency. At the end of the day, much of the decision will be in the hands of Congressional majority leader Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and speaker Paul D. Ryan who will have to choose between reaching agreements that favor more than 800,000 young people or burning bridges from pride.