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Trump faces defining moment on immigration

Trump faces defining moment on immigration
September 06
12:56 2017

President Trump is hurtling toward a crossroads on immigration — his signature campaign issue and a key source of his law-and-order reputation — where each path before him comes with significant political risks.

Trump has temporarily placed the fates of roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children in the hands of Congress, buying himself time and shunting responsibility.

Should Congress act, the president will have to choose whether to sign on to a legislative solution granting the “dreamers” legal status — or to let the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, expire, which would impede the ability of beneficiaries to find work and leave them vulnerable to deportation.

The choice cuts to the core of his presidency and could have long-term ramifications for the Republican Party.

“From a Republican Party point of view, this is a defining moment,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), co-author of a bipartisan dreamers bill, told reporters Tuesday. As if addressing Trump, Graham added, “You have a chance to show the nation, as the president of all of us, where your heart’s at.”

Trump’s hard-line base, which demands purity and expects results, recoils at DACA as illegal amnesty and will look to him to veto any such legislation. But allies said Trump also is eager to prove that he has the “great heart” he has touted, and he is under pressure from his party’s establishment, the business community and many of his own advisers to find a way to let dreamers stay.

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