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In wild twist, Democrats say Trump agrees on plan to protect 'Dreamers' from deportation

In wild twist, Democrats say Trump agrees on plan to protect 'Dreamers' from deportation
From CBC - September 13, 2017

The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached an agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancementsnot including Trump's long-sought border wall.

The agreement, the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition, was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers were not invited to attend.

It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former president Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.

Trump ended the program earlier this month and gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called "Dreamers" begin to expire.

"We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that's acceptable to both sides," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders partially disputed their characterization, saying over Twitter that "excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to."

Although often used interchangeably, the initiative known as the Dreamers program is not the same as DACA. The former is named for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that has been introduced numerous times over the past 16 years but has failed to pass. It aims to provide conditional permanent residency to undocumented immigrants who enrol in college or the military.

DACA is a policy introduced by former U.S. president Barack Obama in 2012 that defers by two years the deportation of people younger than 31 (as of June 15, 2012) who came to the U.S. illegally before the age of 16 and meet certain conditions. The deferral can be renewed after two years if the conditions continue to be met, and successful applicants are also eligible for a work permit.

Trump was a Democrat most of his life

It was the second time in two weeks that Trump cut out Republicans to reach a deal with Pelosi and Schumer. A person briefed on the meeting, who demanded anonymity to discuss it, said the deal specifies bipartisan legislation called the DREAM Act that provides eventual citizenship for the young immigrants.

House Republicans would normally rebel over such an approach, which many view as amnesty for law-breakers. It remains to be seen how conservatives' loyalty to Trump will affect their response to a policy they would have opposed under other circumstances.

The House's foremost immigration hardliner, GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, made clear that he, for one, was not happy.

@SteveKingIA

Wo not give up on wall

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