Steve Bannon Says the Far-Right Hates Trump's DACA Decision

People are wrong to think President Donald Trump’s decision to pave the way for the deportation of 800,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children plays to the far-right, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in an interview.

“Trust me, the guys in the far-right, the guys on the conservative side, are not happy with this,” Bannon told CBS News host Charlie Rose in an interview to air on 60 Minutes this Sunday.

Many on the far-right argue that America's immigration laws are helping to make whites a minority in the U.S.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump has decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Trump has given Congress a six-month lead time to create a new immigration law that could allow such immigrants to remain in the U.S.

RTX34YMN Steve Bannon attends a swearing-in ceremony for Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch at the White House on April 10. Carlos Barria/Reuters

The DACA program gives two-year work permits to nearly 800,000 young people who entered the U.S. illegally as minors, granting them a reprieve from deportation. It was set up by the Obama administration in 2012.

“I don’t agree with that DACA decision,” Bannon said. People on the far-right side of the political aisle, he added, don’t like that Trump is pushing Congress to pass an immigration law that would make the program permanent.

Trump “said even last night in a tweet—even in a tweet, he would rethink it,” Bannon said, referring to a message the president sent out late Tuesday.

“Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” Trump wrote.

Rose challenged Bannon—a devout Catholic—on his stance after Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, railed against ending DACA Tuesday, and after the church issued a statement calling Trump’s decision “contrary to the spirit of the Bible and of our country.”

Bannon said Catholic leaders have been “terrible” and need to “come to grips with the problems in the church” and that they “they need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”

“They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration,” he said.

Bannon was ousted from the White House on August 18 amid a shake-up that removed a number of controversial figures from the Trump administration. He had quickly risen to become one of the president’s chief advisers after running Trump’s campaign for three months.

The day he was ousted, Bannon returned to his old job heading the hard-right online news outlet Breitbart, which during the 2016 campaign he called a “platform for the alt-right.” The alt-right is a movement of white nationalists, white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, and Bannon is seen as a representative of hard-right thinking in America.

During the interview, Bannon said that his image in the media is “pretty accurate” and that he’s a “street fighter.”

Related: What is DACA—the program for young illegal immigrants Trump wants to end?

“I’m going to be [Trump’s] wingman on the outside for the entire time,” Bannon said. After the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that resulted in a counterprotester’s death, Bannon said, he was the “only guy that came out and tried to defend” the president after Trump accused “both sides” of violence. Police said the car that killed counterprotester Heather Heyer was driven by a white supremacist.  

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