If Governor Terry McAuliffe is right, Reince Priebus just won a key victory against Stephen Bannon in the immigration debate raging inside the White House.
After meeting with the Trump administration, reporters asked the governor if DACA would soon get the axe. McAuliffe's answer was definitive: "absolutely not." Score one for Priebus, who's reportedly been championing a softer line on the issue.
Since taking the oath of office, President Trump has appeared to soften on the issue. Not long ago, he used to love railing against illegal immigration, including the young undocumented immigrants protected from deportation by DACA. Apparently just a big softie, Trump now says he's sympathetic to the plight of "these incredible kids."
The Obama-era program, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, shields young immigrants from deportation. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, over 700,000 applications have been approved since June 2016.
Supporters say it's the only fair policy for children brought to this country by their parents. Opponents call it a form of amnesty. And McAuliffe says it's here to stay.
While the White House hasn't officially ruled out ending the program, McAuliffe says that Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly "reiterated [the administration's] support for the dreamers here in this country and that the policy will continue."
That's news that will likely anger many in Trump's base, like those who hail from Breitbart News and NumbersUSA, who want to see a decrease in overall immigration. It's also a sign that Priebus has managed to soften the president's hard edge.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.