Even Trump knows he's lost control of the immigration debate.
Donald Trump apparently believes Democrats are beating him and fellow Republicans in the public debate over immigration.
Despite his public declarations that he has "great love" for the young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, known as DREAMers, and has called for a "bill of love" to protect them, behind closed doors, it's another story.
At a White House meeting with Democrats, he "urged them not to use the word DREAMers in public," The New York Times reports.
The term comes from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which was first introduced in the Senate in 2001 and has been reintroduced several times but has failed to become law.
During his first State of the Union address which had far fewer viewers than President Barack Obama's, despite Trump's lies he tried to co-opt the term in a screed against protection for DREAMers and other immigrants.
"Americans are dreamers too," he said. It was his only use of the word during an address in which he repeatedly invoked the criminal gang MS-13 in the context of immigration, even though studies have shown immigrant populations are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.
It is a distorted portrayal of immigrants that has been promoted in right-wing media like Fox News for years.
Trump constantly smeared immigrants throughout his short political career. He launched his campaign by comparing Mexicans to rapists and called for a ban on Muslim travel to the United States.
Since then, Republicans have become increasingly intolerant toward immigrants, in their rhetoric and policies.Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner even went so far as to block legislation from a vote, even though it had majority support and had passed the Senate.
After that debacle, Trump went on to win the Republican Party's nomination with a strident anti-immigrant message and a promise to build the nonsensical border wall.
Now that he and his party are in full control of the federal government, they have decided to stick with their unpopular position and are now lashing out at language that conveys the humanity behind immigrants seeking relief.
The majority of Americans want Trump and his GOP to find a solution for DREAMers. But Trump isn't willing to help them at least, not unless he can extort $25 billion from taxpayers to build his border all and another $5 billion for the kinds of draconian "security measures" Republicans want.
The arguments against immigrants and portrayals of them as a horde of criminal gang members isn't working, though. No wonder Trump is begging Democrats to stop accurately portraying these young Americans accurately as people who simply dream of being able to stay in the only home they've ever known.