WASHINGTON–In 2010, the Obama White House dared not invite so-called “DREAM Act”youths to the White House, worried getting them cleared in could flag their illegal status to authorities. Instead, staffers met with “DREAMers” “off campus.” Former White House Public Engagements chief Tina Tchen –now chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama– provides a rare inside look into a period of time when the White House wanted to reach out to the illegal youths — without placing them in jeopardy.
“You know, we used to have to meet with the ‘DREAM Act’ kids off campus. So we used to have to go somewhere else because they can’t come in the White House. They couldn’t come in the White House back then because they’d be flagged as a ‘do not admit,”’ Tchen said.
“Not only would they be flagged as ‘do not admit,’ you know, ICE would get notified, and they could potentially get picked up. So we had to sort of go off site to meet with them,” she said, speaking at at The Atlantic’s “Women of Washington” series last week. Click HERE for my column on the White House and the “DREAMers.”