President Trump told mainstream media reporters on Wednesday that he was open to breaking his immigration commitment by giving a pathway to U.S. citizenship to nearly 800,000 illegal aliens shielded from deportation by the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In statements outside the White House, Trump told the Associated Press (AP) that he would be open to giving U.S. citizenship to DACA illegal aliens, saying “It’s going to happen.”
The AP reported:
President Donald Trump says he’s open to a pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally.
Trump told reporters, “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.” [Emphasis added]
Trump was talking about the young immigrants who had been protected from deportation and given the right to work legally in the country under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
According to Bloomberg News, an anonymous administration official is already walking back Trump’s comment about citizenship for DACA illegal aliens, saying the remark does not indicate an upcoming policy proposal by the White House.
Trump also said he would be demanding at least $30 billion to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as an end to the process known as “chain migration,” where newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S., and an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery program, which imports 50,000 random foreign nationals every year from countries with known terrorism issues.
“If you don’t have a wall, you don’t have DACA,” said Pres Trump, again insisting the wall is essential to an immigration deal. He wants $25-billion in funding, but believes it won’t cost that much. “We’re talking about probably 800 miles of wall,” says the pres.
In another break of commitment, Trump said he was open to potentially extending the DACA program beyond its March 5 deadline of when Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it would officially end.
While the White House’s official position on a DACA deal has been that they would be open to giving legal status only to DACA-enrolled illegal aliens in exchange for the end to chain migration, elimination of the Visa Lottery, and full funding for a border wall, the administration has never been supportive of citizenship for illegal aliens.
Granting a pathway to U.S. citizenship to DACA illegal aliens would break Trump’s long-held campaign promise that no amnesty for illegal aliens would be granted until illegal immigration to the U.S. was fully ended.
In Trump’s historic 2016 immigration speech, he specifically said “There will be no amnesty.”
“For those here illegally today who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for re-entry like everybody else under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined today.”
“It’s our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us.”
“Anyone who tells you the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington.”
Trump’s comments come just after a new Harvard-Harris poll revealed that his pro-American immigration agenda of reducing legal immigration levels to raise the wages of Americans is wildly popular with American voters, as Breitbart News reported.
For example, 85 percent of black Americans said they supported a merit-based immigration system, rather than the current flow of chain migration. Another 72 percent of Democrat, former voters for Hillary Clinton agreed that the legal immigration system should be based on skills, not family ties.
Currently, the U.S. admits more than 1.5 million legal and illegal immigrants every year, with more than 70 percent coming to the country through the process of chain migration. Mass immigration to the U.S. has had a detrimental impact on America’s working and middle class, which have seen stagnant wages for decades and continued outsourcing of blue-collar and some white-collar jobs.
The poll found that more than 80 percent of Americans support curbing legal immigration levels, a plan that Trump has endorsed to raise the wages of working and middle-class Americans and stem the current never-ending flow of cheaper, foreign competition that burdens the country’s blue-collar workers the most.
Since DACA’s inception, more than 2,100 illegal aliens on the program have been kicked off because they were found to be either gang members of convicted criminals.