For anybody who doesn’t know, a dreamer is considered to be a person who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and has lived and has been educated here ever since. Most dreamers consider themselves to be American and some 750,000 of these dreamers have been protected by Obama’s Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals immigration policy. Trump has again hinted a softening of his hard-line immigration stance by telling dreamers to rest easy in a recent interview with the associated press. He instead claims that his administration will be targeting illegal immigrants who are known criminals. This is not the first time he has tried to soften his stance on this issue, back on Jan. 20th 2017, after his inauguration, he told top ranking senate Democrats that “we do not want to hurt those kids” when speaking on this issue. I believe President Trump is more of a rational thinker than an intellect and understand that a majority of Americans do not support the deportations of not only dreamers, but illegal, law-abiding immigrants. In my opinion, I believe this is a strategic move by Trump to broaden his appeal to people besides his base which will ultimately help to improve his approval numbers.
Although the U.S. – Mexican border seems so far away to us Rhode Islander’s, the issue of immigration hits us right here at home as Providence is considered to be a sanctuary city. Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence has seemed to be undecided on this issue has he rejected the notion of Providence being a sanctuary city but has recently reversed course when President Trump signed an executive order threatening to withhold federal funds from communities that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials. I believe that Trump softening his stance on this issue is part of a broader strategy to force local officials to comply with federal law. It is easy for these local leaders to say “hell no” when Trump is says he wants to deport 11 million immigrants and wants to pretty much stop immigration from various parts of the world including Mexico and various Middle Eastern countries. It becomes much harder for these same leaders to say “hell no” when Trump says “Ok, dreamers and law-abiding immigrants can stay but the bad ones have got to go.” Is it worth it to these local leaders to have their federal funds withheld to harbor criminals? I would hope not. I also believe that if Trump continues to soften his stance and these leaders do not comply it will ultimately hurt them politically because it will leave them to look like the hard-liners but on the opposite side of the spectrum than Trump. It will be interesting to see if this issue comes up in the 2018 governors race and how big of a role it plays.
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