President Donald Trump said on Friday he would not sign the more moderate of two bills under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives that are meant to address the threat of deportation hanging over the United States’ “Dreamer” immigrants.
“I’m looking at both of them. I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel in front of the White House. “I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan plans to bring up the two bills for votes in the Republican-controlled House next week, moving to break a long-standing stalemate on Capitol Hill over immigration law. But Ryan said on Thursday he could not guarantee passage of either measure.
Up to 1.8 million young Dreamers, mostly Hispanics who entered the country illegally years ago as children, could qualify for protection under the more moderate of the two Republican bills.
It would allow the Dreamers to apply for temporary “non-immigrant” visas to remain in the United States. It would also provide $25 billion to strengthen security at the U.S.-Mexico border, including funding construction of a border wall that the Republican president wants to build.
The other bill is a conservative Republican measure that would build the border wall and deny Dreamers the chance of citizenship.
Reporting by Justin Mitchell; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Tim Ahmann and Jonathan Oatis