President Donald Trump on Thursday sought to reassure young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children concerned about their future after speaking with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, two sources tell CNN.
Pelosi told House Democrats at a closed-door she spoke to Trump via phone Thursday morning and urged him to reassure those protected in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, two sources said. Trump initiated the phone call to Pelosi, they said.
She “asked him to tweet this to make clear Dreamers won’t be subject to deportation in 6-month window,” according to one of the sources. She did not provide specific wording, just a general idea.
The call follows a meeting at the White House on Wednesday during which Trump made a deal with Pelosi and her Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, on a short-term debt limit extension that had been opposed by House Republican leadership.
“For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.
Trump on Tuesday announced his administration would sunset DACA, no longer accepting new applications and letting the two-year permits expire without the option for renewal. No permits will be terminated early. But to give Congress time to act, Trump announced that any permits that expire by March 5 would still be able to renew — as long as they apply by October 5.
Trump’s reassurance could ring hollow for the roughly 700,000 current recipients of DACA, who now stand in limbo to see if Congress will extend their protections from deportation and ability to work and study in the US beyond March 5.
Greisa Martinez Rosas, the advocacy director of United We Dream, which advocates for undocumented immigrants, dismissed Trump’s tweet.
“You can’t sugarcoat the terror Trump has pushed on immigrants when he killed DACA,” Martinez Rosas said. “Right now there are teenagers being kept out of protection because of Trump’s move and he is attacking our parents. While our community is under attack, we won’t feel safe.”
Trump’s tweet references that grace period, reinforcing the idea that his administration is not immediately rescinding any protections for the young undocumented immigrants in the program.
Many have never known another home than the US, have pursued careers, education and started families.
While the six-month window gives Congress an opportunity to put the program, which was going to be challenged in the courts, into law as opposed to executive action, the fate of all recipients hangs in the balance.
The administration is offering no assurances that DACA recipients will not be deported if they encounter Immigration and Customs Enforcement and their information in Department of Homeland Security systems could be accessed by law enforcement, the department says.
Most members of Congress have spoken in favor of reaching a deal in theory, but sharp divides on how to proceed and what to pair it with remain between and among the parties.
Trump has at times equivocated on his decision, tweeting he may “revisit” it if Congress doesn’t act.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump “wrestled” with those decisions.