Dems buoyed by Trump support for Dreamer's citizenship
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats said they were heartened today by President Donald Trump's support for an immigration plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, while Republicans were more cautious.
Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he was "very encouraged" by Trump's surprising words, which the president made late Wednesday in impromptu comments to reporters. Like other Democrats, Manchin shrugged off subsequent attempts by White House officials to pull back Trump's comments.
"The president is the man in charge. We're going to work with him," Manchin said.
Among Republicans, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford said he supports the citizenship pathway Trump described. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., called Trump's words "positive" and said Trump's description "gives us a better sense" of his views but added, "We have a long way to go yet."
Trump's pronouncement came as the White House announced it would unveil a legislative framework on immigration next week that it hopes can pass both the House and the Senate. The president's remarks amounted to a preview of that framework. He said he'll propose $25 billion for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and $5 billion for other security measures.
"We're going to morph into it," Trump told reporters. "It's going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years."
Immediately after Trump spoke, a senior White House official stressed the idea of a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers was just a "discussion point" in the plan that the White House intended to preview to the House and Senate.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the administration's thinking on a contentious issue that has roiled lawmakers for months.