WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump insisted on Thursday in remarks before Republican lawmakers that the young undocumented foreigners who came to this country as children should not be called “Dreamers,” advising people not to “fall into that trap.”
“I’ve been hearing about DACA for so many years. Some people call it Dreamers. It’s not Dreamers. Don’t fall into that trap,” the president said during his speech at the winter meeting of GOP lawmakers in West Virginia, referring to the situation of undocumented migrants who came to this country as children and who have been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which he cancelled and which expires on March 5.
“I said the other night, you know, we have dreamers too. We have dreamers in this country, too. You can’t forget our dreamers,” said the president, referring to his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
Last September, when Trump decided to end the DACA program implemented by former President Barack Obama and which has shielded some 800,000 young people from deportation, the mogul instructed Congress to find a permanent legislative solution for that group by March 5.
Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating for months on an alternative to DACA and several weeks ago they reached an agreement in principle that fulfilled the requirements originally demanded by the White House, but the president then refused to give it the green light.
In exchange, the White House last week presented its own proposal, taking a much harsher line regarding border security, eliminating the possibility of family reunification and the visa lottery, but creating a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young foreigners.
“I gave a number that was ... very generous ... because I wanted to see whether or not (Democratic lawmakers) were interested in approving that,” the president said.
Trump went on to urge the Republican-controlled Senate to bring his immigration proposal to a vote, knowing that congressional debates on it will begin in the coming weeks.
“It’s a strong bill, but it’s a very fair bill. And it protects our border,” Trump said to applause from the GOP legislators.
The debate on how to regularize the immigration status of the young people – due to lack of consensus among lawmakers from the two parties – led to a partial government shutdown two weeks ago.