Understanding President Trump’s intentions can be a challenge, especially when his public statements do not always match his Twitter posts. But his obvious efforts to broker a deal with Democrats to legislatively restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are laudatory.
In early morning tweets Thursday, Trump referred to the undocumented children of immigrants as “good, educated and accomplished young people, who have jobs, some serving in the military. ” He said, “They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own — brought in by parents at young age.”
This is, of course, the essence of the humanitarian crisis that would be created by dismantling DACA without a legislative replacement. It is refreshing to hear such language from the chief executive.
Trump indicated the deal he was brokering with Democratic leaders would include money for “BIG border security.” In a subsequent statement, the president said funding for his border wall “will come later.” But then later he said funding for the wall “is vital.”
Despite the confusion, the movement on this issue is encouraging and worthy of support.
For years, we have urged Republicans and Democrats to come together and broker a compromise allowing for common-sense immigration reforms. That includes the need for a type of guest worker permit allowing legal cross-border migration to perform tasks vital to the U.S. economy. Such a thing also would make it easier to separate those who come here to work and improve their lives from those with criminal intent.
But those efforts consistently stalled over entrenched partisan bickering, fueled by politicians afraid to anger their bases of support. Trump, a maverick in so many ways, apparently has become unafraid to reach across the aisle, judging by the visceral reactions of some Republicans.
This is the second such instance in two weeks. Last week, the president brokered a deal with Democrats allowing for a three-month spending plan that avoided a debt-ceiling crisis and kept the government funded.
Maybe the president has grown tired of seeing his plans stall in congressional deadlock. If so, we would urge him to bring leaders of both parties to the White House for regular meetings to discuss compromises on health care reform, tax reform and changes to Social Security and Medicare that would avoid fiscal catastrophe down the road.
Immovable ideologues won’t solve those problems. Neither will entrenched special interests, with their PAC money and lobbyists. But a president motivated to pressure both sides toward compromise could make a difference.
As we noted previously, DACA was a good policy enacted in the wrong manner — namely through an executive order by President Obama. DACA participants are valued members of the American workforce who, in many instances, have known no other language or culture. Some have given their lives in defense of this country.
Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch was an early advocate for a legislative solution allowing these residents to participate fully in society. While some Republicans have reacted to Trump’s compromise efforts with revulsion, we hope Hatch becomes a major force for brokering a solution.