The Trump administration announced this week it would let the DACA program end — putting hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants brought over the border as children at risk of deportation — but it clearly did not consider the fallout that would result from such a decision.
President Donald Trump resurrected the possibility of a new immigration bill, saying on Twitter that legislators would need to pass a comprehensive bill within six months — something they have been unable to do over the last decade or more — or he would have to step in (despite criticizing President Obama for having done the same).
With Democrats and many moderate Republicans coming out in support of DACA and those affected by its repeal, the decision looks like a disaster on paper for Trump.
Democratic lawmakers are promising to attach the DREAM Act to every piece of legislation until it passes, unless the comprehensive immigration reform bill arrives on the floor for a vote in September.
And that’s not all.
Trump’s appeal to his base may have cost his administration on its other policy goals, including tax reform.
While the White House no doubt wanted to use the urgency of rescinding DACA to win concessions on other deadlocked matters like border-wall funding, overwhelming public support for the program has favored the Democratic party as they position themselves as its defenders.
Trump now finds himself negotiating with rejuvenated Democrats on multiple fronts. According to a top Republican who spoke to Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, the Democrats “win the politics of DACA and leverage on debt in the winter… (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer has inserted himself into all negotiations in the winter, including tax, spending and immigration.”
Just spoke to a top Republican close to leadership about Trump's decision. Here's what they said: pic.twitter.com/iV2y0bVfvk
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) September 6, 2017
After meeting with the President, Republican leadership, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Schumer seemed positive and said he was confident that the DREAM Act could pass the Senate right now.
Schumer repeats that Dems want the GOP leadership to put the DREAM Act on the floor and says they strongly believe it would pass.
— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) September 6, 2017
And his positivity appears warranted, as Trump has already sided with the Democrats on agreeing to raise the debt limit to fund the government for three months, something to which many Congressional Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are opposed.
The debt limit provision has been tied to legislation that directs $8 billion for Hurricane Harvey relief, which is sure to pass. Not only that, but the short-term fiscal relief allows Democrats some leverage to get concessions during debates over spending in December, as The Atlantic noted.
Now, Trump’s campaign promises seem further out of reach, as he will not only have to deal with continued resistance to his administration’s hateful policy and rhetoric from Democrats and progressives, but he will have to face his own party as well.