President-elect Donald Trump’s softer stance on so-called DREAMers demonstrates that Democratic pressure is having an impact on the billionaire businessman, according to one of Congress’ most vocal amnesty advocates.
“My reaction is, it’s working. It’s working. The fact that we are raising the issue of the DREAMers is working. The pressure is beginning to reverberate in his own comments. Let’s keep it up,” Illinois Democrat Rep. Luis Gutiérrez said Wednesday, during the unveiling of House Democrats’ latest call for a presidential pardon of DREAMers granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or — as critics have called it — executive amnesty.
Wednesday, Time magazine released an interview with Trump showing him as more open to compromise on the question of DREAMers, or undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” he told Time, in the issue naming him “Man of the Year.”
“They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here,” he added. “Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The shift in tone was striking for a former presidential candidate who ran on stopping illegal immigration and holding law breakers accountable. The comments come as Democrats push for a solution to the concerns of DREAMers who signed up for DACA and now fear that their information could be used against them during an administration focused on law and order.
According to Gutiérrez — who initially joked that perhaps the comments would have more gravity if Trump put them on Twitter — Trump’s comments show their efforts are having an effect.
“Let’s keep the pressure up. I understand that there are others that are going to see Donald Trump today, and are going to take petitions for the DREAmers,” he said.
The Illinois Democrat added, however, that he still believes it is incumbent on Obama to grant DREAMers additional protections.
“More than ever I say to President Obama, he says he wants to work something out, well guess what you work it out for them okay, because you’re the President of the United States and you asked them to join this program,” Gutiérrez said. “You use your power of pardon and pardon them, make it a little bit easier for Donald Trump to keep his promise and do something that is nice and great for them.”