House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged President Donald Trump Thursday to tweet reassurances to the immigrants who benefit from a program his administration is ending. And the president obliged — in the latest instance of Trump doing the bidding of leaders of the opposition.
The president tweeted, "For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about - No action!"
He was referring to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which President Barack Obama created through administrative action in 2012. Trump's administration said Tuesday it is rescinding the program but is giving Congress six months to take action on it.
Notwithstanding his tweet, the nearly 800,000 immigrants who obtained temporary work permits and deportation protections via DACA can't rest entirely easy. Any of them whose protections expire within the next six months have until early October to reapply, and for others they must look ahead to an uncertain future. It's not clear whether Congress will actually be able to solve their problem in six months — or what Trump will do if lawmakers don't act.
Shortly after Trump's tweet appeared Thursday morning, Pelosi told fellow Democrats at a closed-door meeting that she had spoken with the president and asked him to send it, in order to make clear to the so-called "Dreamers" that they wouldn't be subject to deportation during the six-month window. Pelosi's comments were confirmed by a Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the private meeting.
The development came just a day after Trump ignored the recommendations of GOP House and Senate leaders and sided with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York in favor of a three-month extension of the government's borrowing limit. Republicans had wanted a much longer extension to protect conservative lawmakers from having to cast the politically toxic vote again ahead of next year's midterm elections.
On immigration, Trump is navigating politically tricky waters. Portions of his Republican voters want a hard line on illegal immigration. Yet others in his administration and a majority of Americans support protected status for children brought to the country illegally by their parents.