Trump claims he'll strike deal for Dreamers with Dems if SCOTUS overturns DACA

By Quint Forgey

President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed he would strike a deal with Democratic lawmakers to ensure that roughly 700,000 undocumented young people are allowed to remain in the U.S. — as long as the Supreme Court overturns the Obama-era initiative that provided those immigrants work authorization and deportation relief.

The president’s pledge comes as the high court begins hearing oral arguments Tuesday over Trump’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which former President Barack Obama’s administration established in 2012 to grant protections to so-called “Dreamers” brought to the country as children.

“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals,” Trump tweeted. “President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”

Despite Trump's assertion that some Dreamers are “criminals,” foreigners with a felony conviction or extensive misdemeanor records are ineligible for DACA and can be removed from the program if they commit crimes after obtaining DACA status.

Trump announced in September 2017 his intention to phase out DACA after a six-month period, giving Congress time to enact a legislative fix before the official expiry date of March 5, 2018. But three federal judges blocked the administration’s plans, and two federal appeals courts subsequently issued rulings against the wind-down.

Meanwhile, the Democrat-controlled House approved a bill in June to grant conditional legal status to an estimated 2.3 million Dreamers, although Congress has failed to pass a comprehensive solution.

The Supreme Court said in June that it would hear arguments over Trump’s DACA termination, and a decision by the justices is likely to come next spring or as late as the end of June 2020.