Washington Post business columnist Robert Samuelson said Congress should strike a deal that gives the green light to President Trump's proposed border wall in exchange for protecting the so-called "Dreamers" from deportation.
"If Trump is going to save the dreamers — repudiating a campaign promise that he would end the program — he needs something big in return," Samuelson wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday. "This could be the wall."
Trump has said he would end former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that granted protection to immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children. He has since called on Congress to pass its own legislation that would grant legal protections to the hundreds of thousands of illegals and said it should be part of a larger immigration package.
Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, however, have said they would not support a deal that included constructing a wall on the southern border.
"It's time to build the wall — and, in doing so, prevent an estimated 690,000 DACA 'dreamers' from being deported from the United States," wrote Samuelson. "It's a fair deal that could be scuttled only by intense and self-serving partisanship from the White House and the Republican and Democratic congressional leadership."
Samuelson has written in favor of the wall in the past.
In late 2016, he wrote that a border wall for immigration restrictionists "represents our best chance of reaching broad agreement on immigration policy, a subject that has frustrated Congress and the two most recent presidents."
In an interview Wednesday on Fox News, Trump said of extending legal protections to DACA recipients, "I fully understand it, but if we're gonna do something, we have to get something in return."