Ryan: Deporting young immigrants not in nation's interest
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan today said deporting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally is "not in our nation's interest," as he and President Donald Trump prepared to huddle with top Democrats to try to hash out a legislative fix.
Speaking in an AP Newsmaker interview, Ryan said he believes the president "made the right call" when he announced that he would give Congress six months to figure out what to do with former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program before dismantling it. DACA has given nearly 800,000 young people protection from deportation and the right to work legally in the country.
"I wanted him to give us time. I didn't want this to be rescinded on Day One and create chaos," Ryan said, arguing the time would allow Congress to "come up with the right kind of consensus and compromise to fix this problem."
As part of that effort, Ryan will be meeting with the House's top Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, this evening, before Pelosi heads to the White House for a dinner with President Trump and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
The leaders were expected to discuss DACA and other issues, according to congressional aides. Trump is also scheduled to meet with a group of moderate members of Congress from both parties Wednesday afternoon. Trump also had dinner Tuesday night with Republican and Democratic senators to talk about his planned tax overhaul.
The get-togethers come amid new signs that there may be room for compromise on the thorny issue of immigration, which has been vexing lawmakers for years. Trump, who was deeply disappointed by Republicans' failure to pass a health care overhaul, has shown a new willingness to work with Democrats in recent weeks, despite railing against them as "obstructionist."
Last week Trump infuriated many in his party when he reached a three-month agreement with Schumer and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and speed relief to states impacted by recent hurricanes. Both Pelosi and White House legislative director Marc Short also indicated Tuesday that they were both open to a compromise on border security to expedite legislation protecting DACA recipients.