The White House will be releasing a legislative framework on immigration Monday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Sanders won't say whether that framework will include a pathway to citizenship for 'Dreamers.' (Jan. 24) AP
WASHINGTON – President Trump said Wednesday he wants to give young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children a path to citizenship.
“We’re going to morph into it ... It’s going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years," Trump told reporters.
Trump, who is expected to unveil a new legislative framework on immigration on Monday, said a fix for the DREAMers must occur before Congress takes on comprehensive immigration legislation, which he called "the bigger immigration problem."
Trump also said he is seeking $25 billion for a wall along the border with Mexico, and $5 billion for other security measures.
"We’re going to do a great job with DACA," Trump said, referring to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but insisted the wall is essential. “If you don’t have a wall, you don’t have DACA,” Trump said.
Trump said the administration is talking about a long-term plan for about 800 miles of wall, but not in areas already guarded by mountains, large bodies of water, and rough terrain. “Where you have a mountain, you don’t build a wall,” Trump said.
The White House and congressional Democrats are scrambling to resolve their differences on the politically charged immigration issue to avoid the possibility of another government shutdown in two-and-a-half weeks. The temporary spending measure Congress passed on Monday funds the government until Feb. 8.
In September, Trump gave Congress six months to find a replacement for DACA. Since the partial government shutdown last weekend, Democrats and some Republicans say they are committed to finding a way to shield from deportation the estimated 800,000 young immigrants the program protects.
Trump has consistently said any agreement to replace DACA has to include new measures to crack down on what he considers bad immigration policies.
In addition to "securing the border ... ending extended family chain migration, (and) canceling the visa lottery," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the forthcoming White House proposal would include "a permanent solution" to the impasse over a program to to protect some immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children.
Sanders said the new White House offer will represent "a compromise that members of both parties can support," but she did not provide details.
Trump is also expected to discuss the immigration debate at his State of the Union address Tuesday night.