WASHINGTON ― Days after sending out his attorney general to rescind a program that protects undocumented young people and accuse them of stealing jobs, President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that those so-called Dreamers “have nothing to worry about” ― for six months, at least.
He did so in response to a request from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who told some Democratic lawmakers that she spoke to Trump by phone on Thursday morning and “asked him to tweet this to make clear DREAMers won’t be subject to deportation in 6 month window,” according to a Democratic aide.
The tweet came after two days of Trump trying to have it both ways on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gave two-year work permits and deportation protections to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
After following through on a campaign promise to end the program, which he said was unconstitutional, the president has insisted he wants to do something to help Dreamers and will work with Congress to do so over the next six months.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the call.
For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2017
It makes sense that Democrats would want to quell some of the fears of Dreamers, many of whom are panicking over a decision that could cause them to lose their jobs and be expelled from the country.
It’s also true that DACA recipients won’t begin to lose their deportation protections until at least six months from now. Some will keep them even longer: The Department of Homeland Security is still reviewing applications from new DACA applicants if they were submitted by Sept. 5. DHS will also renew DACA for eligible current recipients if their permits expire between Sept. 5 and March 5, but they must submit their applications by Oct. 5.
But rescinding DACA still poses a real risk for Dreamers. Some have permits that will expire after March 5, meaning they won’t be able to apply to renew them. Others don’t have permits yet and have not applied, and now won’t be able to. Even if people are eligible to apply for renewal, it’s likely some won’t be able to pay the $495 fee without more time to save.
The most important question will be what happens to Dreamers after the six-month period if Congress and…