Cautious hope for Trump to protect Dreamers

Given the many shades of uncertainty about President Donald Trump’s possible agreement with top Democrats to give legal protection to the young immigrants brought here illegally by their parents, it might be unwise to be too hopeful.

There is Trump’s own unpredictability and the torrent of conflicting and shifting explanations that followed the announcement of a deal Wednesday night by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the Senate and House minority leaders.

But extremely cautious optimism is in order. Perhaps this apparent outbreak of bipartisanship is real and just might last longer than a tweet or two. Last week, remember, the same trio did a deal to lift the debt ceiling and fund the government until December.

Certainly, we applaud any move toward not deporting 800,000 people protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. As Trump tweeted Thursday, they are “good, educated and accomplished” young people brought here with little choice from countries they hardly know.

But there are ample reasons for skepticism: The reactions on Capitol Hill were telling.

House Speaker Paul Ryan firmly said the president must go through the GOP majorities in Congress to get this done, but acknowledged there will be a compromise eventually. And while centrist Republicans praised Trump and centrist Democrats lauded Schumer and Pelosi, extremists in both parties excoriated their own dealmakers.

Lost in the cacophony was the fact that this is why people voted for Trump — to be unconventional, to reach out to anyone who wants to make a deal and get stuff done.

Whether this is an actual deal, a framework or a discussion; whether Trump agreed to protect Dreamers from deportation or give them a path to citizenship; whether funding for the border wall now or later is part of this; whether Trump is making a deal on principle or to clear the way for other deals — something is going on.

We wait on the details and, yes, we hope.