Just days after urging President Trump not to end the DACA program, House Speaker Paul Ryan offered an abrupt about-face on Wednesday. It turns out that casting nearly one million young people’s lives into uncertainty and threatening them with deportation is good!
In an interview with his hometown radio station on Friday, Ryan said about reports that Trump would repeal DACA: “I actually don’t think he should do that.” He went on to say, just as Attorney General Jeff Sessions did on Tuesday, that DACA was an executive overreach by President Obama and that the fate of DACA recipients should fall to Congress to fix.
But then he sympathized with these Americans’ plight, saying:
Having said all of that, there are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe there that there needs to be a legislative solution.
So Ryan, a man somehow still hailed as a “policy wonk” and a moral compass for conservatives, made clear today that he’s gotten exactly what he wanted.
“President Trump was right in his decision. He made the right call,” Ryan said on Wednesday. “These kids—for the most part—don’t know any other home than the United States. So I think the president was right to give us the time we need to find that compromise.”
Ryan was referring to the six-month window that Congress now has to fix DACA or watch it go up in smoke. But given that Congress has failed to pass a major legislation every chance they’ve gotten, it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that the Trump administration tipped its hand on lawmakers’ chances for success, saying in an internal talking points memo on Tuesday that DACA recipients should prepare to start shipping out.