It remains unclear exactly what the president and congressional Democrats agreed to do with regards to DACA, border security and the wall the president wants. Donald Trump, for one, says there’s no deal. Meanwhile, Republicans, including many from Texas, are bewildered and concerned, even though the president says they’re “on board.”
Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met Wednesday with the president over dinner, announcing afterward that they had come to an agreement regarding a revamped DACA program and border security measures. The wall, they said, wasn’t part of the agreement. On Thursday, the president tweeted there had been no deal.
Brandon Rottinghaus, professor of political science at the University of Houston says that while conservative Republicans in Congress are unlikely to support a deal struck by Trump and the Democrats, moderate GOP lawmakers could allow some version to pass.
“The pressure to act, because of the president’s countdown to eliminate DACA has forced the hand [of Congress,]” Rottinghaus says.
Rottinghaus says the challenge for those who want a deal is the opposition of conservatives, who see allowing DACA recipients to remain in the U.S. as a form of amnesty for unauthorized immigrants.
The president’s intentions regarding DACA are murky, Rottinghaus says, because he has expressed support for DACA recipients’ aspirations, even as his administration has begun the countdown to end the program.
“I think the president is probably looking out for number one, here,” Rottinghaus says. “The fact that the president put this DACA issue in Congress’s court is, I think, a trouble for many Republicans, especially in a time where once the deadline runs out in March, [Republicans in Congress] are all going to be facing some kind or primary opposition,”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.