White House says Trump supports "moderate" GOP immigration bill after confusion

Furor over family separation now a part of House debate over immigration

White House says Trump supports "moderate" GOP immigration bill after confusion

President Trump's comments Friday dismissing a Republican compromise immigration bill that includes a provision meant to stop family separation at the US border rocked Capitol Hill, scuttling Republican leaders' plans to gauge support for the proposal Friday and potentially tanking its chances on the House floor in a vote tentatively planned for next week.

The president meets with House Republicans on Tuesday.

President Trump continued to cast blame on Democrats, tweeting: "Why don't the Democrats give us the votes to fix the world's worst immigration laws?"

President Donald Trump had just thrown a wrench into months of immigration talks, saying in an early morning interview with Fox News that he "certainly won't sign" the all-GOP compromise immigration bill.

"He keeps us all excited about how we are going to get things done", Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican from Florida and supporter of the compromise bill, told CNN.

Trump said he was looking at the two Republican immigration bills set for a House vote next week.

Instead, the administration has folded the issues into a broad wish list of pre-existing demands, from a border wall to cuts to legal immigration. One includes hard-line provisions catering to the House GOP's conservative wing; the other will try to bridge the gap between conservatives and moderates.

"While the bill contains some positive provisions, including full funding for the border wall and closing loopholes in current law that sustain illegal border surges, it is still a mass amnesty", said RJ Hauman, of the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform. All are included in the GOP leadership bill, and Trump still did not specify his objections. "I think the part of it he will like is the trigger mechanism that if the appropriation, funding and the spending on the wall is not delivered on then there is no other part of the bill", Walker said. The bill does not yet address that issue.

Trump indicated his opposition to the bill during an impromptu appearance on "Fox & Friends", which was being aired on the White House lawn.

"I don't want them to move the benchmark to family detention", Lynum told ThinkProgress. White House aide Stephen Miller, an immigration hard-liner who has been accused of trying to sabotage immigration deals in the past, told conservative lawmakers at a closed-door meeting that the president backed that plan. Carlos Curbelo and Mario Diaz-Balart: a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants who came to the USA illegally as young children.

Trump continued to falsely assert Friday that separating migrant families was a law spearheaded by Democrats.

But two conservative provisions are likely to prevent almost all Democrats, and perhaps some moderate Republicans, from supporting the bill.

Democrats are opposed to both bills, and neither measure is expected to pass.

The legislation would allow an estimated 1.8 million Dreamers to apply for six-year, indefinitely renewable "non-immigrant" visas to remain in the United States, and provide $25 billion to beef up security at the U.S. -Mexico border, according to a draft measure seen by Reuters.

'No From Me'Democrats weren't included in the drafting of the bill, and second-ranking Senate Democrat Dick Durbin of IL said it would face united opposition in his chamber.

Bills that would have made similar cuts in legal immigration failed earlier this year in the Senate, suggesting that even if the proposed package gets through the House, it would have a hard path toward ultimate passage.

Later Thursday, the White House vehemently defended its policy, even insisting that enforcing the law is "very biblical".

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