White Nationalists Are Loving Trump’s “Americans Are Dreamers Too” Line

It was the president’s only reference to DACA recipients in his State of the Union address.

Win Mcnamee/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump’s only reference to the 700,000 DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers,” trapped in the crosshairs of the immigration debate—”Americans are dreamers too”—was met with effusive praise from prominent white nationalists, including former KKK grand wizard David Duke.

The line came at the end of a section in Trump’s speech that initially appeared to gesture at a spirit of bipartisanship, in what has otherwise been an intensely contentious debate in Congress over the fate of Dreamers—dozens of whom were sitting in the House gallery Tuesday night as guests of Democratic lawmakers. 

“I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties—Democrats and Republicans—to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed,” the section began. “My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans—to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream.”

He then continued, “Because Americans are dreamers too.”

Democrats and many on social media instantly condemned Trump for intentionally stoking the flames of the debate. “The tone was of a divider-in-chief,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told Politico shortly after the speech. “It was a red-meat appeal to the anti-immigrant base of his party, not the unifying, coming-together appeal that we all know is necessary.”

Meanwhile, some conservatives applauded the line as “remarkable.”

But as with Trump’s previous highly charged remarks, including his notorious “many sides” condemnation in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, it’s the giddy praise from those with white nationalist ties that’s making Democrats’ argument for them.

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In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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