The great negotiator
On Tuesday morning, President Trump sent out Attorney General Jeff Sessions to announce the beginning of the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and almost immediately, The New York Times reported the private concerns of Trump administration officials that Trump "might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take, and when he discovered their full impact, would change his mind." On Tuesday afternoon, Trump told reporters that he has "a great love" and "a great heart" for the DREAMers — young adults brought to the U.S. illegally as children — covered by DACA.
Trump next took to Twitter to say he looks forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress "to address immigration reform in a way that puts hardworking citizens of our country 1st," and four hours later, on Tuesday night, he suggested that perhaps his faith in Congress had been too strong and he might "revisit" DACA if lawmakers can't "legalize DACA" within his six-month time frame.
If you aren't entirely sure about Trump's position on DACA, you're not alone. At New York, Jonathan Chait suggests Trump's DACA decision — decisions? — features "the same mix of cruelty and desperate incompetence as his position on repealing ObamaCare," from "the alternating of threats and bluster with sweet promises" to the "repeated delays in hopes a solution will somehow materialize" and indifference to details, down to "the final lurch into blame-avoidance."
Whatever Trump really believes or plans for the 800,000 DACA recipients, probably none of them are heartened by Trump's latest hint of possible reprieve six months from now. Especially since the White House is sending congressional Republicans talking points with the advice that DREAMers use their six-month window to self-deport.