The Corner

Politics & Policy

Is President Trump Going to Give Away the ‘DREAM Act’?

Per The Hill, Trump will not ask for wall funding in return for a legislative “DREAM Act.” 

The cynic would say that this reveals that Trump is in favor of DACA’s substance — if not its implementation — and that he has been all along. And perhaps that’s true. Regardless, such a pitiful, preemptive cave demonstrates just how badly Trump’s sense of opportunity has rotted since he got to Washington, D.C. The argument Trump should make here is a simple one, and it goes a little like this: “Barack Obama ordered DACA unilaterally, which was illegal; in so doing, he bypassed Congress, and thereby bypassed both meaningful debate and necessary compromise; Congress exists to debate and compromise, and the country is split; therefore, by returning this issue to Congress I am both restoring the right constitutional balance, and making sure that both sides get a chance to get a win.”

What a compromise on the DREAM Act would look like would be up to the various players. Perhaps Trump would ask for wall funding, and make that the price of his signature? Perhaps Steve King would demand E-verify, and convince the White House to go alone? Whatever the contours, they would soon come out of the debate. And yet that debate now looks unlikely to happen. Why? Because Trump’s giving away his leverage before the talking has even begun. Whatever happened to the Art of the Deal?

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