In a surprising turn of events, members of Trump's evangelical advisory board are publicly disagreeing with the president and uniting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In what The Hill has called a "rare" incident, these evangelical board members showed support for the preservation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, who prayed at Trump's inauguration, spoke with Pelosi at a news conference on Thursday. During this conference, he claimed that Pelosi has always taken the lead on this important issue.
"You have always taken the lead. Your commitment to the immigrant community to the 'Dreamers' is second to none. So America is in a better place because of your prophetic leadership on this matter," the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said to Pelosi.
Then Rodriguez praised the bipartisan efforts from members of Congress on DACA, before quickly adding that it is time to put politics aside in order to pass a compassionate bipartisan bill. All human beings, born in the image of God, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, Rodriguez said.
"If we have to build a wall in order to secure and save 800,000 lives, let’s make that happen as expeditiously as possible. Let’s cross the proverbial [River] Jordan of saving our DACA young men and women. Let's do it now," he continued.
The Washington Post writes that several of Trump's evangelical advisers met and held this news conference on Thursday with Pelosi. Their goal was to push for legal protection of dreamers. Many of them claimed that protecting these undocumented persons is an important "life" issue that should be carefully considered, especially in light of the March For Life taking place today.
According to reports, the meeting is the first of its kind. Never before have conservative evangelical pastors and Nancy Pelosi met like this in public, and never before have Trump's evangelical advisors so publicly disagreed with him.
Particularly interesting is a statistic reported by Christianity Today, who claim that more than 55% of self-identified evangelicals had an unfavorable view of the Democratic politician, making her one of the most disliked politicians in America among evangelicals.
Trump faced serious backlash from the media and a number of top-level politicians on Thursday evening when he reportedly claimed that certain countries are "s---holes." The comment was made in private, during a bipartisan meeting about DACA, but sources claim that he made the remark.
Trump, of course, had denied the allegations to the media. And several lawmakers have come forward to claim that Trump never actually made the remarks.
Trump then tweeted that DACA is probably dead, although he is still opening to preserving it if Democrats will give him adequate border security in a bipartisan deal.
“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “They just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military."
“I don’t believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA,” he said in another tweet. “They are all talk and no action. This is the time but, day by day, they are blowing the one great opportunity they have. Too bad!”
“I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT,” he wrote. “No more Lotteries! AMERICA FIRST.”
Trump has implied in numerous tweets that he was willing to compromise, but that the Democrats have also proved unable to work with him, especially by leaking confidential information about a bipartisan meeting on immigration.
According to Christianity Today, 70% of evangelicals believe that dreamers should be allowed to stay in the country, with 49% supporting a pathway to citizenship and 20% believing they should become legal residents but not citizens. Overall, 75% of registered voters want the dreamers to stay.
Many evangelicals who support immigration reform are concerned about family and life issues, and as a result, they are praying and working toward a policy that will keep parents and children together, will prioritize both security and safety, and will uphold the human dignity of undocumented persons in the United States.
In recent news, Trump makes a historic speech as tens of thousands march in DC.