Insisting That `We Have Dreamers, Too,' Trump Wrestles Immigrant Advocates for Evocative Term

WASHINGTON -- The immigration fight rages on many fronts, and one of those is linguistic. President Donald Trump has long bristled at the term "dreamers," crafted nearly two decades ago to evoke the striving of foreign-born students facing the possibility of deportation because they'd been brought into the country illegally years earlier. In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Trump turned a phrase that neatly underscored his "Americans first" philosophy, while also reclaiming the potent term from the pro-immigrant side."Americans are dreamers, too," he said.The idealized America is a land of opportunity, of the "American dream." That's what made "dreamers" such an effective shorthand for advocates of young immigrants. In the context of a riff about gang violence, the drug war and competition for jobs, Trump used the term as a declaration that sympathy lies not with the foreign-born but with Americans anxious that immigration dilutes Americans' values, and puts them at risk of violence and economic disruption.Hardliners took heart at the rhetorical flourish, while it left Democrats cold."It was an attempt to pit dreamers against American citizens," said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio. "We should always try to build opportunity for all Americans but I don't see a reason to pit people against each other the way the president does."On Thursday, Trump hit the point again at the Republican retreat in West Virginia."I said the other night, you know, we have dreamers, too. We have dreamers in this country, too. You can't forget our dreamers," he said.White nationalists embraced Trump's rhetoric. Dallas native Richard Spencer lauded the president in a tweet that simply repeated the line. David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, thanked Trump.Mainstream conservatives and immigration hardliners likewise were pleased.  Continue reading...

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