And in recent conversations, two administration sources pointed to chief strategist Steve Bannon as the man who preserved the current iteration of DACA, the victor of a debate with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who favored curtailing the program.
“Bannon usually wins most battles,” an administration insider said.
Previous reports have cast Bannon on one end of the spectrum on rescinding DACA and a more moderate group led by chief of staff Reince Priebus that wanted to keep it but BuzzFeed News has learned that Bannon views DACA, which tends to be viewed more favorably than many immigration policies, as a strategic asset in the coming immigration policy battles, a source familiar with his thinking said.
“Trump was never in favor of repealing DACA,” said a source close to the president, who also said that keeping the program is in line with the immigration stance of Bannon, whose counsel Trump closely heeds. Bannon’s economic nationalist view is very much rooted in culture, and so eliminating DACA wouldn’t be a priority for him because “these kids have been here and they’re going to schools here,” the source said. “They’re Americans. They understand the culture.”