President Trump announced this afternoon that he wants legislation legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants. This was a strange new turn in what has already been a strange new year. At a meeting with Congressional leaders that was supposed to address the fate of young people about to lose their protections under DACA, Trump said that he wanted a “bill of love” to protect the undocumented.
Trump told the leaders while on national TV that he would rely on Congress to come up with a deal on immigration and that he would support what they came up with even if he was not “in love with it.” Trump said that he would be willing to “take the heat” politically for a broad legalization program. “I really do believe Democrat and Republican, the people sitting in this room, really want to get something done,” he said during the strange public negotiating session.
After Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy said that he felt that immigration legislation could be brought before the House if “we work every day on this,” Trump said that “we’ll do DACA and we can start comprehensive immigration reform the next afternoon.” He said that he didn’t think that comprehensive reform would be “that complicated.”
Speaking of legislation to protect Dreamers, Trump told the leaders, “I really think this sells itself.” Trump also seemed to back away from his earlier demand that the wall be fully funded for any deal on DACA. “We don’t need a 2,000-mile wall where you have rivers and mountains, and everything else protecting, but we do need a wall for a fairly good portion.”