Will President Trump's New Executive Order on Immigration Create a DREAMer Path to Citizenship...Or Not?

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 10, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Florida. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Just a little earlier today, President Trump was in Florida.

While there, he talked to Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart and made some news

In an interview with Spanish-language TV network Telemundo, Trump said one aspect of the measure will involve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that protects hundreds of thousands of such immigrants – often called “Dreamers” – from deportation.

“I’m going to do a big executive order. … And I’m going to make DACA a part of it,” Trump said. “We’re going to have a road to citizenship.”

This announcement did not go over well.


Not only did the announcement seem politically unwise…like who is going to vote for Trump based on him creating a pathway to citizenship for illegals?…it was strange. The administration was just dealt a defeat in the Supreme Court on the issue, and we know that the Department of Homeland Security is back at the drawing board to rescind DACA. We know that there is a case working its way through the system, which is likely to result in DACA being declared unlawful, just like its parallel program, Delayed Action for Parents of Americans or DAPA.

Now it seems like President Trump may have confused the executive order, he will be signing with legislation that is in the early stages of negotiation.

The White House played clean-up Friday after President Trump suggested he was working on an executive order that would attempt to grant citizenship rights to illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” saying Mr. Trump is actually talking about two different issues.

The president is planning an executive order that would revamp the legal immigration system to add more “merit-based” conditions to those coming to the U.S., said spokesman Judd Deere.

Separately, the president is “willing to work with Congress on a negotiated legislative solution to DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], one that could include citizenship.” Mr. Deere described a piece of legislation Mr. Trump first offered in 2018.


This clarification is good news but also troubling. It is good news that President Trump is not caving to people who loathe him and would never vote for him and create a program that would not only be illegal but which would convince voters he will need in November to sit this one out. It is troubling because November looks to be a much closer election than we would desire and, if one of the lines of attack on Joe Biden is going to be mental acuity, President Trump can’t be seen not to have a firm grasp on what his administration is doing on a critical political issue.


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