House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told “Meet the Press” Sunday that President Donald Trump has privately committed to the essence of the DREAM Act, legislation that would provide legal status to a substantial number of illegal aliens who entered the country as children.
Pelosi’s statement comes amid continued confusion as to the nature of the informal immigration reform agreement Trump reached with Democratic leaders over Chinese food in mid-September.
“What we agreed with the president on was that the basic bill would be the DREAM Act,” Pelosi said.
“What was to be determined is if and what there would be in terms of border security,” she added. “But the essence of the bill was what the president committed to.”
Other members of the Democratic congressional leadership, including Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, say they are operating under the assumption that an immigration reform bill will include legal status for so-called “Dreamers” and a substantial commitment to border security.
The Senate version of the DREAM Act provides legal status for some 1.8 million aliens.
Early in September, Trump indicated that he would not support the full extension of citizenship to Dreamers or their families.
“We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty,” he said. “We’re looking at allowing people to stay here.”
There appears to be a rhetorical divide between Trump and the Democratic leadership, though it’s unclear whether it reflects a deeper policy disagreement. Pelosi told reporters on Sept. 14 that Dreamers would not immediately be awarded citizenship under the current rubric, but added a final deal would likely include provisions allowing them to obtain full citizenship in the future.
It’s unclear whether Trump would accept such an arrangement.
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