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Pelosi: Trump 'would not walk away' from Dreamers

October 20, 2017 - 12:53 pm

(NEW YORK) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday that while President Donald Trump’s actions on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have been “heartbreaking,” she has “confidence” he will stand by the young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as "Dreamers," going forward.

Pelosi told ABC's The View Friday that every president "in recent history," including Republicans like Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, "have been respectful of what immigration means to our country."

In contrast, she said Trump “is the first president who’s made a departure in a very negative way. It’s unfortunate.”

Specifically, the California congresswoman said it was “heartbreaking” that the Trump administration imposed an Oct. 5 deadline for young immigrants who had been covered under DACA to renew their permits. After that deadline, no DACA recipients have been allowed to renew their protected status. Many missed that deadline.

However, Pelosi said she has confidence that Trump "would not walk away from his support for the Dreamers."

"I think he supports the Dreamers because the American people support the Dreamers," she added.

She said she opened the conversation about DACA with Trump during a dinner in September with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The pair came to the table with "a list of concerns" and disappointments about Trump's actions, Pelosi said. They were looking for an issue they could work with Trump on as "a confidence builder" so that Democrats could feel it was possible to move forward and work with the president.

“For us, that is DACA,” Pelosi said of the key “threshold” the president needed to cross with the two Democratic party leaders.

“If we can have agreement on this and confidence, then we can do other things,” Pelosi said. “If we don't have that confidence, it will be very hard to do it."

Ultimately, the president said he would support the DREAM Act and in exchange, Pelosi said, “We would work with him on some border issues.”

“We have a responsibility to protect our border,” Pelosi said. “We don't have a responsibility to…start a reign of terror by going after families and other people."

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