Sunday, January 8, 2017
Will DACA Be Overturned?
Obama to Trump: Protect 'Dreamers'
The president relayed to Hill Democrats a 'very direct' conversation he had with his successor on a key immigration initiative.
President Barack Obama told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that he stressed to Donald Trump the importance of his 2012 executive action that shielded so-called "Dreamers" from deportation and granted them work permits — a program that Trump vowed to dismantle as he campaigned during his presidential bid.
Obama relayed details of his immigration conversation with the president-elect during a morning confab at the Capitol with House and Senate Democrats. Though the meeting focused largely on Obama’s health care law, the outgoing president separately noted to lawmakers that he “spoke to Trump very directly” about beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to one member who attended.
“His message was, those are good kids who didn’t do anything wrong,” the lawmaker said. “That was heartfelt. He brought that up.” Two other sources confirmed Obama’s remarks at the private meeting.
The lawmaker said Obama indicated that a fight over the future of DACA recipients would be one issue that would prompt him to get back in the political arena.
Trump pledged as a candidate to overturn Obama’s executive actions on immigration — though since his election, Trump has taken a softer tone toward so-called Dreamers.
"We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump told Time magazine last month. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
DACA is one of the largest components of Obama’s legacy on immigration. More than 740,000 young undocumented immigrants have obtained temporary work permits and avoided the threat of deportation through the program, which Obama enacted without Congress.