President Donald Trump, who staked his campaign on a challenging-line strategy to illegal immigration, now says he is open to contemplating possible legal status for some undocumented immigrants as part of a compromise to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.
“The time is suitable for an immigration bill, as lengthy as there is compromise on both sides,” Trump told news anchors and correspondents attending a White Property luncheon currently.
The president is floating the notion ahead of his first address to a joint session of Congress tonight, signaling a willingness to negotiate on an challenge that has pitted Democrats against some Republicans for years. It was not right away clear whether or not the president would raise the situation in his speech.
Trump indicated openness to moving beyond a strict focus on law enforcement to addressing the legal status of some of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. – including a attainable path to citizenship for “DREAMers,” who had been brought to the nation illegally as youngsters.
“They shouldn't be extremely worried. They are right here illegally. They shouldn't be really worried. I do have a huge heart. We're going to take care of everyone,” Trump told ABC News' David Muir in his initially televised White Property interview in January.
“Now we have criminals that are right here. We have seriously negative people today that are here. These people have to be worried 'cause they are receiving out. We're gonna get them out. We're gonna get 'em out fast,” he added.
Trump campaigned as a “law and order” candidate, vowing strict enforcement of existing immigration laws and sweeping effort to step up deportations. The Division of Homeland Safety final week issued a directive to initiate stricter enforcement measures.
The White Property is also preparing to unveil a new, revised executive order restricting travel and immigration from seven majority Muslim countries just after the original order was place on hold by a federal court. That order could come down as early as Wednesday.
The president has said he is most sympathetic to the plight of "DREAMers," saying at a press conference earlier this month that he finds it “very, pretty challenging doing what the law says precisely to do."
“I's a extremely tricky thing for me since, you know, I really like these children. I adore little ones,” he said.
Immigrant advocates reacted cautiously to the president’s comments.
“We are not ready to praise him or Republicans,” stated Cesar Vargas, director of the Dream Action Coalition in a statement. “Before Trump can be taken seriously, we have to have to see particulars.”
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