House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took credit Thursday for a tweet from President Donald Trump that DACA recipients had “nothing to worry about” for the next six months.
Trump ended DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, on Tuesday, and applications for work permits under the program ceased to be accepted the following day. However, current DACA recipients with permits expiring by March 5, 2018 can apply for an extension before Oct. 5 of this year. Those with permits expiring after March 5 cannot.
In a press briefing, Pelosi confirmed reports that she had spoken with Trump Thursday morning, and said she had asked the President to put DACA recipients’ minds at ease, at least for the next six months. She also expressed optimism that Congress would be able to assemble legislation protecting DACA recipients during that time.
“Some of the concerns that people had when it came out is, ‘Well, he said six months,’” she said, referring to Trump’s six-month delay before the first DACA recipients are eligible for deportation. “And these people are being fearful that it said, ‘Pack up, because you’re out of here in six months,’ not, ‘We have six months and we’re going to pass a bill, so take comfort.’”
“So that’s what I said to him when he called this morning,” she continued, paraphrasing the conversation: “‘People really need a re-assurance from you, Mr. President, that the six-month period is not a period of round up, but that DACA is frozen and these people will not be vulnerable.’”
Pelosi used a colorful phrase to describe the timeline leading up to the tweet:
Pelosi on this morning: "I was telling my colleagues, this is what I asked the president to do, and boom boom boom, the tweet appeared."
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) September 7, 2017
She said separately, concerning potential legislation to allow DACA recipients to stay in the country lawfully: “I am praying that the President really cares about the Dreamers, or knows that he should care about the Dreamers, and that we’re going to pass this bill.”
“Dreamers” generally refers to young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
“We want to do it as soon as possible, to strike while the iron is hot, because public opinion is so much in favor,” she added. “The faith-based community, the business community, people who care about America are all weighing in on this.”
Pelosi added that Trump had told her he would sign into law the DREAM Act, which was first introduced in Congress in 2001 and offers a path to legal status for young undocumented immigrants.
“The President said he would — he supports that,” she said. “He would sign it.”
Watch below via CBS News:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 7, 2017