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.
Thank you President Trump. Americans are "Dreamers" too.
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) January 31, 2018
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.”
“Americans are dreamers too” is why President Trump is so remarkable. It shifts focus from a small group to the whole nation.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 31, 2018
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.
“Americans are dreamers, too.”
~Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/nZmUFBWMCE
— Richard ☀️ Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) January 31, 2018