Dr. Samuel Rodriguez: Trump’s Deal on DACA a ‘Historic Opportunity’

By Nancy Flory Published on January 26, 2018

President Trump is willing to make a deal on DACA, he told CNBC in an interview on Thursday. The deal could pave a pathway for citizenship for 1.8 million “dreamers.” It would also provide money to pay for a wall along the border with Mexico.

Trump said he’s “willing to shift more” on DACA if they “make the right deal.” The White House told NBC that a deal must include a $25 billion trust fund for border security and a border wall. It also must end family reunification, or “chain migration,” policies and the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery program.

DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, lets people who were brought to this country illegally to avoid deportation for two years and work legally. President Obama created it by executive action in 2012. President Trump rescinded it in 2017, but delayed action for six months to give Congress time to act.

‘Historic Opportunity’

Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is optimistic about the deal. In a statement he said he had the privilege last week of insisting on a permanent deal for Dreamers. Just days later, Trump proposed an immigration deal that could make a way for 1.8 million Dreamers to attain citizenship.

Trump’s proposal “is a complete affirmation of everything NHCLC has worked for since the Bush administration,” wrote Rodriguez. “It is also a fulfillment of everything this administration has promised us since President Trump’s inauguration.”

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Rodriguez added that both sides on the immigration debate must be willing to compromise. “While there are certainly aspects of this proposal either party may disagree on, there is also much they can celebrate,” he wrote. “Let’s accomplish a bold and lasting solution” for Dreamers. He also stated that he supports “enhanced” border security.

“I strongly urge Congress to not let this historic opportunity slip away, but instead embrace a compromise that history will record as a righteous victory for our nation,” he added.

Congress has a deadline of February 8 to make a deal on government spending. This is expected to include the deal for Dreamers. But even if it doesn’t, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has promised to bring a deal on DACA to the Senate floor. It is expected to pass with bipartisan support. 

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