President Donald Trump is going along with a plan to end an immigration policy aimed at helping children gain legal status to prove he’s in charge of the White House.
Trump promised to end Deferred Action for Child Arrivals during the campaign, but he appears ready to kill the program to please his right-wing base, reported Politico.
According to several people who’ve spoken to the president recently, Trump feels like he’s backed into a corner with few good options.
On the one hand, sources told Politico, Trump doesn’t like ending a program that helps “kids,” but he also hates hearing that “New York Democrats” are controlling his administration.
So he’s bowing to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior adviser Stephen Miller — and to his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who’s now back at Breitbart News.
The former chief strategist famously feuded with his more moderate colleagues, and Bannon has promised to attack Trump from the right at Breitbart, which has stoked anti-Semitic mistrust about “globalists” pursuing a liberal agenda from the White House.
Bannon and Sessions tried unsuccessfully in 2013 to spike the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, which they believe energized the right-wing base to rally around Trump.
Miller, who was then a senior aide to Sessions, wrote the Trump campaign’s immigration plan promising to end DACA and has pushed the president to undo the Obama-era policy.
The president’s hand was forced after the attorneys general in Texas and nine other states threatened to challenge DACA in court if the federal government didn’t stop issuing work permits.
Sessions and Miller ultimately convinced Trump he would lose, and look foolish, if his administration defended DACA in court, according to Politico’s sources.
The debate played out similarly to Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, the website reported.
Trump was already leaning toward pulling out of that agreement, but Bannon and other White House conservatives convinced the president that remaining in the pact could set up legal hurdles to ending Obama’s other climate regulations.
In both debates, Trump ultimately decided he would rather undo his predecessor’s policies than pursue what he might have wanted himself.