Friday, October 19, 2018 | ePaper

US Republicans unveil immigration bill, Trump demands wall funds

  • Print


US President Donald Trump signs the Interdict Act into law, to provide Customs and Border Protection agents with the latest screening technology on the fight against the opioid crisis, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington D.C., on Wednesday

AFP, Washington :
 US Republican lawmakers on Wednesday unveiled an immigration package that would tighten border security, end chain migration and fund President Donald Trump's border wall, while shielding nearly a million so-called "Dreamers" from deportation.
The legislation was introduced just minutes after Trump said that any legislation that protects such undocumented immigrants would need to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border-one of the primary pledges of his 2016 presidential campaign.
"Any solution has to include the wall because without the wall, it all doesn't work," Trump told reporters at the White House.
"We need the wall for security. We need the wall for safety."
Congress is grappling with how to break an impasse over the "Dreamers"-immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children, but were permitted to stay under Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Trump scrapped DACA last September, but left a six-month window for Congress to craft a solution by March, when thousands of immigrants would face deportation.
He met with two dozen Republican and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday at the White House, urging them to craft a compromise that would accommodate the Dreamers but also achieve some immigration reforms.
"The president indicated that our bill, the Securing America's Future Act, is the starting point to correct the flaws in our immigration system," House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte told reporters.
"This bill funds the border wall and secures ports of entry along the southern border.
It also increases boots on the ground," limits immigrants from bringing family members into the country in the future, and ends the green card lottery system, he added.
But it also includes conservative priorities like cracking down on sanctuary cities, and provides no special pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.
As lawmakers race against time to find a fix, a US judge late Tuesday blocked Trump from scrapping DACA and ordered it maintained "on a nationwide basis," as legal challenges against it proceed.
But the White House and Democrats agreed that the ruling does not diminish the urgent need to resolve the issue.
The Republican legislation is certain to antagonize Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who wants a narrowly crafted DACA bill that includes border security enhancements but no wall funding.
Goodlatte's bill, even if it passes the House, would have a harder time clearing the Senate, where it would need support from at least nine Democrats.
Schumer expressed support for a bipartisan group of senators working on a deal, and said it was crucial that any DACA agreement be part of a spending bill needed before a January 19 deadline in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted the federal court system as "broken and unfair" after a judge blocked his administration's move to end a programme protecting young immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents.
A U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco ruled late on Tuesday that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which Trump has said he will end, should remain in effect until legal challenges brought in multiple courts are resolved.
Under the administration's plan, the programme for young people commonly known as "Dreamers" would be phased out over a two-year period, beginning in March.
"It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) ... almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts," the Republican president wrote on Twitter.
The Justice Department said in a statement it "looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation."
But the administration did not immediately appeal the decision by U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California. An appeal from that court would typically go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Some legal experts predicted the Trump administration would be successful if it appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. In December, the country's highest court granted an administration request to block an earlier Alsup order that called for the release of internal documents related to the government's DACA decision.
Several experts also said Tuesday's court ruling could complicate negotiations between congressional Democrats and Republicans trying to reach a deal to resolve the legal status of nearly 700,000 young immigrants covered by the programme, which allows them to live and work in the United States.
"The ruling could deflate the pressure on Congress to act in the next week and in our view there remains just as much urgency as ever for a lasting fix," said Michael Tan from the American Civil Liberties Union. Dreamers "don't need a protracted legal battle," he added.
At a White House meeting on Tuesday before the court ruling, Trump urged lawmakers to quickly reach a bipartisan DACA deal before moving on to even tougher negotiations on a comprehensive immigration bill.

More News For this Category

As tensions mount, Mattis seeks more resilient US ties with China`s military

As tensions mount, Mattis seeks more resilient US ties with China`s military

Reuters, Singapore :US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis held high-profile talks with his Chinese counterpart on Thursday, as the United States seeks to forge to more resilient military ties that can

US first lady`s plane lands safely after smoke filled cabin

US first lady`s plane lands safely after smoke filled cabin

Reuters, Philadelphia :U.S. President Donald Trump said his wife, first lady Melania Trump, was safe on Wednesday after a mechanical problem forced her airplane, which was headed for Philadelphia, to

Trump denies covering for Saudis on journalist, says truth out soon

Trump denies covering for Saudis on journalist, says truth out soon

President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied covering up for ally Saudi Arabia in the suspected murder of a critical journalist and said that he expects to learn the truth about

Post-Brexit transition could be extended: May

Post-Brexit transition could be extended: May

AP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday she is considering a European Union proposal that would keep Britain bound to the bloc's rules for more than two years

EU moves to tighten borders, boost Africa ties on migrants

EU moves to tighten borders, boost Africa ties on migrants

AP, Brussels :European Union leaders are set Thursday to push ahead with plans to boost cooperation with North African countries and beef up the bloc's borders in an effort to

News in brief

Malaysia's former deputy PM detained for alleged graftAP, PutrajayaMalaysia's anti-graft agency says it has detained former Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a case linked to misappropriation of funds

Khashoggi was killed inside embassy Pompeo rushes to Ankara for talks

Khashoggi was killed inside embassy Pompeo rushes to Ankara for talks

AFP, Ankara :US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday held talks with the Turkish leadership in Ankara over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as Riyadh faced new

Trump won't accept blame if GOP loses House

AP, Washington :Facing the prospect of bruising electoral defeat in congressional elections, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he won't accept the blame if his party loses control of the

Scuffles break out at Indian temple town over entry of menstrual age women

Scuffles break out at Indian temple town over entry of menstrual age women

Reuters, Nilakkal, India :Hundreds of police guarded the main gateway to an Indian hill temple on Wednesday to prevent clashes between women of menstrual age entering for the first time

Honduras warned to halt migrant caravan or lose US aid

Honduras warned to halt migrant caravan or lose US aid

President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Honduras he will cut millions of dollars in aid if a group of about 2,000 migrants is allowed to reach the United States.A migrant