Donald Trump sides with Nancy Pelosi, says DACA recipients "have nothing to worry about"

Immigration activists aren't breathing a sigh of relief just yet, even though Trump said they'd be OK

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published September 7, 2017 10:43AM (EDT)

 (AP/Paul Sancya)
(AP/Paul Sancya)

On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump issued a tweet intended to offer reassurance to DACA beneficiaries — that is, the children of undocumented immigrants who, despite not being legal citizens, don't know of any other country as their home.

According to The New York Times, Trump may have sent out this tweet after receiving guidance on how to draft it from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democratic congresswoman from California. While Pelosi reportedly did not get the exact language she wanted, the fact is that regardless of what Trump said, it may not have done a lot of good.

For one thing, Trump's tweet was somewhat misleading.

"I don't think he even understands what he is saying about DACA," Cesar Vargas, the co-director of Dream Action Coalition, told Salon. "Technically, within those six months, and even after, the law says that any person with deferred action is protected from deportation and is allowed to receive a work authorization and Social Security. So in a sense his assurance is meaningless because it's already established."

Vargas was also skeptical about whether the tweet would actually have a reassuring effect.

"I think it creates even more confusion. Again, it's like, okay, what does that mean? Can we keep it later on? Is it okay? For me and for most people, it's like his guilt is really kicking in. Okay, I'll provide some assurance," Vargas observed.

Nevertheless, Vargas did not seem entirely surprised by Trump's tweet, nor by the early report that Pelosi may have asked him to send out a tweet of this nature.

"I think there is no question that Republican and Democrats — Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer — have spoken to the president and have seen a president who is compassionate about this issue," Vargas said. "And of course we all know who was driving the agenda, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his senior adviser Stephen Miller."

Another activist said that she wasn't exactly breathing a sigh of relief.

"The fact remains that President Trump has rescinded DACA, nothing can bring assurances to Dreamers like me and 800,000 others whose lives hang in the balance except permanent legislation from Congress," said Pamela Chomba, an organizer with "We urgently need members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to pass the bipartisan Dream Act."

Although Trump granted DACA recipients a six-month reprieve until Congress can pass a permanent legislative solution, it is by no means assured that the legislature will rise to the challenge. Partisan polarization, internal divisions within the Republican Party and an already-packed congressional schedule could prevent a new deal from being passed, according to The Washington Post.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Daca Donald Trump Dream Act Illegal Immigration Nancy Pelosi Undocumented Immigrants