President Trump finds himself on shaky political ground, walking a fine line between Democrats and his supporters, as he works to find a long-term solution to President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program, instituted in 2012 via executive order by Obama, provides work permits and protection from deportation for some 800,000 illegal aliens who were brought to the U.S. as children. Trump ended the program last week, with a six-month phase-out period to allow Congress to come up with a legislative solution for the so-called "Dreamers."
Days after ending DACA, Trump met with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss a deal to preserve the DACA protections. While both sides later confirmed that no firm agreement was reached, reports of Trump dealing with the Dems sent many of his conservative supporters into a rage. For his part, the President insisted he won't support "amnesty," that any deal he makes will include "big border security," and that his proposed border wall with Mexico is still non-negotiable
Some anti-illegal immigration advocates were also perplexed by Trump's actions. "The President has mouthed clichés that could easily have come from the mouth of Jeb (Bush) or (Marco) Rubio about, well this isn't really amnesty if they don't get citizenship," says Mark Krikorian with the Center for Immigration Studies.
Krikorian tells KTRH he understands Trump's difficult position. "You can make a case for wanting to clean up this mess that Obama left and trying to go forward, but only if there are damage control measures," he says. "Like a requirement that all new hires have to be screened through e-verify, or some of these family immigration categories for relatives are eliminated to stop chain migration."
The President likes to tout himself as king of the Art of the Deal, but Krikorian warns that Sen. Schumer has been manipulating Republicans with "deals" on the immigration issue for years. "Trump seems to be the latest Charlie Brown running to kick Chuck Schumer's football," he says.