President Trump vowed there would be an immediate end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when he took office, but even as his other hardline immigration measures move forward, his administration has still not touched the DACA program. DACA allows children who were brought to the U.S. to remain in the country and work, and its preservation might come from the support of Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon.
"Bannon usually wins most battles," one White House insider told BuzzFeed News. Although Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller opposed DACA, Bannon reportedly won out:
Previous reports have cast Bannon on one end of the spectrum on rescinding DACA and a more moderate group led by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that wanted to keep it, but BuzzFeed News has learned that Bannon views DACA, which tends to be viewed more favorably than many immigration policies, as a strategic asset in the coming immigration policy battles, a source familiar with his thinking said.
"Trump was never in favor of repealing DACA," said a source close to the president, who also said that keeping the program is in line with the immigration stance of Bannon, whose counsel Trump closely heeds. Bannon's economic nationalist view is very much rooted in culture, and so eliminating DACA wouldn't be a priority for him because "these kids have been here and they're going to schools here," the source said. "They're Americans. They understand the culture." [BuzzFeed News]
"The president indicated that he’s open to compromise," added Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy, a close friend of Trump's. "The position would be a smart thing politically and a smart thing for the country."