The Latest: Trump officials draft hardline immigration bills
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and immigration (all times local):
Trump administration officials are working on a new package of legislation aimed at closing what they describe as immigration “loopholes.”
Among the measures they want Congress to address: ending special safeguards that prevent the immediate deportation of children traveling alone from countries that don’t border the U.S.
They also want Congress to terminate a 1997 court settlement that requires the government to release children from custody to caretakers while their cases are making their way through immigration court.
The proposals appear the same as those included on a White House wish list on immigration that was released in October.
It’s unclear, however, whether there is any appetite in Congress for such changes, especially now that the president has said he is no longer interested in protecting young “Dreamer” immigrants from deportation.
Political groups backed by the conservative Koch brothers are criticizing President Donald Trump for declaring that an effort to protect young immigrants from deportation is dead.
Freedom Partners is backed by the wealthy Charles and David Koch. Its executive vice president is James Davis, and he says it would be “irresponsible and represent a grave injustice” not to compromise with Democrats on permanently protecting young “Dreamer” immigrants in exchange for $25 billion for border security.
Trump has rejected such a deal.
Officials with Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative released similar statements. LIBRE Initiative President Daniel Garza says Dreamers “have contributed to our economy and our communities.”
The Kochs didn’t support Trump’s 2016 presidential bid. They’ve previously criticized his immigration stance but have backed many of his other policies.
President Donald Trump is attacking his own Justice Department and the FBI on Twitter, accusing them of withholding information and “slow walking” the production of documents to Republicans in Congress.
Trump is also appearing to question the integrity of the Justice Department in his Tweet by putting quotation marks around the word “Justice” in referring to the department. He says the conduct of the agencies overseen by his appointees is an “embarrassment to our country.”
The criticism comes about a week after Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray assigned 54 FBI staff to work from 8 a.m. to midnight collecting and reviewing documents requested by various congressional investigations.
The president could expedite the release of the documents on his own by declassifying the information in full.
President Donald Trump is praising the state of the nation’s economy at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
Trump spoke briefly to hundreds of guests on the South Lawn, pointing to a “special year” for the country and progress on the economy.
The president and first lady Melania Trump, joined by 12-year-old son Barron, then walked over to the station where kids are rolling dyed, hard-boiled eggs across the lawn.
Trump addressed reporters briefly, reiterating that Democrats have “really let” down young immigrants seeking a deal on protections from deportation.
Trump has been trying to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Although he says he has been open to a law extending it, he and Congress have been unable to come to terms.
President Donald Trump is calling for new border wall and immigration legislation, tweeting that moving to the “nuclear option” in the Senate is only way to muscle such a measure through Congress. But that would require changing Senate rules, something for which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shown no enthusiasm.
In early morning tweets Monday, Trump says “Congress must immediately pass Border Legislation, use Nuclear Option if necessary, to stop the massive inflow of Drugs and People.” He added, “Act now, Congress, our country is being stolen.”
Trump also tweeted that the U.S. must build a border wall, but argued that “Democrats want No Borders, hence drugs and crime!” He also said that a deal to help “Dreamer” immigrants is “dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act.”
The $1.3 trillion funding package Congress passed last month included $1.6 billion in border wall spending. But much of that money can only be used to repair existing segments, not build new sections. Congress also put restrictions on the types of barriers that can be built.
President Donald Trump has declared “NO MORE” to a deal to help “Dreamer” immigrants and threatened to pull out of a free trade agreement with Mexico unless it does more to stop people from crossing into the U.S. He claimed they’re coming to take advantage of protections granted certain immigrants.
“NO MORE DACA DEAL!” Trump tweeted Sunday one hour after he began the day by wishing his followers a “HAPPY EASTER!”
He said Mexico must “stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!” The U.S., Canada and Mexico are participating in tense negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement at Trump’s insistence. Trump says NAFTA is bad for the U.S.