- Immigration hardliners were not happy with President Donald Trump’s immigration talks with a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Tuesday.
- In an unusual, public meeting, Trump backed a two-phase solution first resolving the dilemma created by the soon-to-be-expired Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and secondly enacting broader immigration reforms.
Right-wing immigration critics responded with confusion and anger after a remarkable White House meeting on immigration in which President Donald Trump appeared willing to negotiate a “bill of love” that would resolve the fate of the young unauthorised immigrants known as “Dreamers.”
“Maybe we can do something,” Trump said. “We have a lot of good people in this room, a lot of people that have a great spirit for taking care of people we represent.”
During the meeting, Trump appeared to support a two-phase approach to immigration reform in which the first component resolved the soon-to-be terminated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in exchange for border security. A second would eventually attempt broader reform of the US immigration system.
Immigration hardliners – who have vehemently demanded a coast-to-coast border wall, hailed Trump’s travel ban, in many cases rejected a deal for Dreamers, and fiercely opposed many existing forms of legal immigration – were not pleased.
Conservative provocateur and author Ann Coulter fired off a series of irate tweets Tuesday afternoon, calling Trump’s negotiations with the lawmakers a “lovefest” and falling short on his commitment to building a physical wall, though Trump did insist upon it in the meeting.
“Trump, flanked by Dems & open-borders GOPS, announces plan for 100% open-ended amnesty (per courts),” she tweeted.
“Nothing Michael Wolff could say about [Trump] has hurt him as much as the DACA lovefest right now,” she continued, referring to the author of an explosive and partly discredited tell-all book about Trump’s first days in the White House.
Immigration critics such as Coulter have often argued in the past that any deal that offers a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers would essentially give them “amnesty” and allow them to sponsor other family members to immigrate to the US.
Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the hardliner Center for Immigration Studies, speculated on Twitter that should Trump cave to Democrats’ demands, he likely won’t last as president beyond the 2020 election cycle.
“Not sure Trump’s ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ statement today means anything, but if he ends up actually signing the kind of bill [Democratic Sen. Dick] Durbin & co. want, GOP loses House & he’s impeached (tho not necessarily removed) & out in 2020,” he tweeted.
The group NumbersUSA, too, found parts of the negotiations to be troubling – particularly the two-phase solution Trump appeared to back.
“Amnesty-now and enforcement/reform-later agreements always fail the American people. We’ve had seven of these amnesties already,” Roy Beck, the group’s founder and president, said in a statement. “They all result in more illegal immigration and continued flooding of US labour markets with a million legal immigrants a year.”
He continued: “Pres. Trump must hold fast to his compact with American workers to greatly reduce both the illegal and legal competition from mass migration.”