GRAHAM LANKTREE • 9/5/17
Senior Congressional Republicans are willing to work with Democrats to keep a program allowing young people who came to America illegally with their parents to stay in the U.S. But Democrats will in return have to give President Donald Trump funding for his border wall.
Early Tuesday Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that grants two-year U.S. work permits to 800,000 young illegal immigrants known as “Dreamers.”
President Trump said last Friday: “We think the Dreamers are terrific,” but by Sunday he decided to cancel the program with a six month grace period.
Ending the program means that young undocumented immigrants—nearly half of whom came to the U.S. before the age of six—could be deported.
A number of Senior House Republican sources told Politico Monday that they are willing to make the DACA program law, but only in exchange for initial funding in 2018 for Trump’s plan to build a border wall.
The DACA program could be made law through the bipartisan Dream Act already before Congress.
In July the House approved $1.6 billion in spending to improve and expand the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in the 2018 budget. Exactly $38 million of that money would be set aside for future wall planning.
During the 2016 campaign Trump repeatedly said Mexico would pay for a concrete barrier he imagined stretching from one end of the border to another. The cost was estimated to be more than $20 billion. Administration officials, however, have said a concrete barrier is impractical and a virtual wall can be achieved through sensor and monitoring technology.