Trump prods Congress amid debate on immigrationPublished: 2/13/18 @ 12:05
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump today warned it's now or never when it comes to extending protections for young immigrants who have stayed in the country illegally.
Trump, in an early-morning tweet, said Congress must act now to provide legal protections to young "Dreamer" immigrants even as legislation faces an uncertain prospect in Congress.
"Wouldn't it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle," he wrote, adding: "This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th."
Trump was referring to a deadline he announced last year to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. But a recent court ruling has rendered that deadline all but meaningless.
The comments came the day after the Senate voted 97-1 – Ted Cruz, R-Texas, provided the sole "no" vote – to plunge into an open-ended immigration debate that's been promised by McConnell. Both parties' leaders hope debate can be concluded this week, but it's unclear if that will happen or what the product, if any, will be.
"This is going to be done or not done this week," No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas told reporters.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., threw his weight behind a wide-ranging bill that mirrors Trump's approach. It would pave a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young "Dreamer" immigrants in the U.S. illegally, a lure for Democrats that many Republicans oppose.
Trump also wants $25 billion for Trump's border wall with Mexico and other security measures, as well as curbs on legal immigration – a must for many Republicans.