When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Nancy Pelosi announced that they had reached a deal with President Trump over some aspects of the illegal immigration issue, a social media firestorm was touched off. The so-called deal was to make permanent the provisions of DACA in exchange for stronger border enforcement but with no funding for the all. The rage expressed by Trump supporters was incandescent. Ann Coulter, an erstwhile Trump sycophant, called for Trump’s impeachment. Even Sean Hannity, one of the warmest supporters of the president, openly wondered if we had reached a “read my lips” moment in which a president reneged on a campaign promise, then not to raise taxes, now to build a border Wall.

The problem is that President Trump has a slightly different recollection of what happened at dinner last night. He doesn’t recall such a deal at all.

What Trump says

While some media outlets claim that Trump is being confusing and contradictory, he is actually quite clear about what he wants. The border wall is not negotiable for him. The Democrats don’t need to support the project, but they cannot obstruct it either. At the same time, Trump is open to giving the so-called “Dreamers,” illegal aliens who were brought across the border as children, permission to stay in the United States, but no citizenship, which brings with it the right to vote and hold office. Subsequently, both Schumer and Pelosi walked back their statements that a solid deal had been made.

The politics of the matter

Trump knows that two political facts of life exist for him concerning Illegal Immigration. First, the border wall is an absolute for many of his supporters. Without the wall, no matter what else Trump accomplishes, many of his supporters will turn on him. Building a physical barrier to stem the tide of illegal immigration was why many people voted for the president to start with.

The second fact is that no one is going to deport the 800,000 people who were brought across the border by their parents as children. Not only did they not violate immigration laws by their own volition, but they have few if any memories of their birth countries. Many do not even speak the language. Forcing them to go back, while certainly legal, would be seen by many as an act of cruelty.

Certainly, Schumer and Pelosi would like to cross Trump up about illegal immigration. However, they seemed to have jumped the gun on a deal, which means that the chances of there being one that favors them have diminished.