Just as Congress is in the midst of marathon negotiations of the fate of the 800,000 young people who were brought to this country illegally as children, Trump took an unprovoked shot at the Dreamers during his State of the Union Speech.
Trump tries a turn of phrase: "Americans are dreamers too."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 31, 2018
Trump’s messaging was crystal clear in its cynicism when he said, “Americans are Dreamers, too.”
His intent, likely carefully worded when the speech was drafted by Stephen Miller, seemed to be to cast the actual Dreamers in the opposite light. The phrase implies that in calling those 800,000 young people Dreamers, they’re taking claim to the American Dream away from Americans.
But this is not a zero sum game. The Dreamers are Americans. And Americans can dream. There is no mutually exclusive claim to the idea of the American Dream.
Congress has been arguing fiercely over DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was established by the Obama Administration in 2012. Trump rescinded the act in 2017. If Congress can’t come to an agreement on a clean version of DACA, the Trump Administration has signaled it is willing to begin deporting Dreamers on March 5.
The disagreement over DACA triggered a government shutdown over the weekend of January 20, exactly a year to the day since Trump took office as President. Democrats ultimately agreed to vote to fund the government with a continuing resolution, on the condition Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell keeps his word to hold a vote on DACA.
Twitter called Trump out immediately after Trump uttered the controversial slogan.
"Americans are dreamers, too"
doesn't sound like a line that will give much comfort to Dreamers who are hoping to stay. Trump only touches on them briefly during his 4 immigration pillars.
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) January 31, 2018
Americans are dreamers, too. Great.
Now let’s agree that Dreamers are Americans, too.#SOTU
— Mike Levin (@MikeLevinCA) January 31, 2018
When Trump said "Americans are dreamers, too," Democrats stayed seated, and were nearly unanimously silent, some rolling their eyes, per @HouseInSession.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 31, 2018
Dreamers should not be used as a bargaining chip or held hostage in exchange for anti-immigrant policies. #SOTU
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 31, 2018