Trump to Discuss Immigration With House Republicans: Report

The White House issued a statement after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would reject one of the immigration bills.


U.S. President Donald Trump will discuss the issue of immigration with the House Republican conference on June 19 at the Capitol Hill, CNN reported citing sources. Trump’s visit to the GOP conference indicates that more work needs to be done before the immigration bill could be passed.

This comes after White House stated on June 15 that Trump supported both Republican immigration bills that address the status of undocumented immigrants and border security, and that he would support the legislation if it passed the House and Senate.

The official clarification came following Trump’s interview with Fox News, where he rejected one of the bills. “The President fully supports both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill. In this morning’s interview, he was commenting on the discharge petition in the House, and not the new package. He would sign either the Goodlatte or the leadership bills,” Raj Shah, White House principal deputy press secretary, said in a statement, ABC News reported.

Trump had said during the interview that he is looking at both the proposals, when he was asked about the bills. “I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one. I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that,” Trump added, Fox News reported.

Later that day, Trump took to the social media saying, “Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration.”

The proposal from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, is more conservative, and denies Dreamers the chance of future citizenship, Reuters reported.

Trump’s comments in the interview sparked confusion among lawmakers, with Republican leaders cancelling plans for votes on both bills. A schedule for this week, which included possible consideration of legislation related to border security and immigration, was issued by Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, the news agency reported.

Responding to Trump’s comments in the interview, Mike Coffman, the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 6th congressional district, was reported as saying by ABC News: “Clearly he didn’t read the bill. I think he was responding to the word ‘moderate.’ Everything he said about his concerns are all in that bill. So, I’m very disappointed.”

The Trump administration had earlier set a deadline of March 5 for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and it was never met. The day was also the deadline for the Congress to put an alternative plan in place of DACA. However, with two federal courts — in San Francisco and in New York — blocking the move, and the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in the matter despite the Trump administration’s plea, the program has been accepting renewal applications from nearly 8,00,000 DACA recipients. DACA ensures that children — called  Dreamers — brought to the country as illegal immigrants can go to work, school, and colleges without fear of deportation.

“Until we know exactly where he’s (Trump) at and his concerns have been satisfied, I think things will be on hold,” Republican Representative Tom Cole was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The proposals are part of a compromise reached between Republican conservatives and moderates for giving $25 billion for the border wall funding, removing many visa programs and also restructuring others. It also included providing a path for six-year indefinitely renewable legal status for Dreamers who could in the future apply for U.S. citizenship.

It is, however, not clear if either bill will pass the House since Democrats are opposed to both the proposals, and Republicans are divided on immigration policy, ABC News reported.

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