Trump says he’ll oppose moderate GOP immigration bill
KONFRONTASI - President Donald Trump has opposed an immigration proposal that would protect migrant children separated from their parents at the US border.
The proposal, which was one of the two immigration measures crafted by congressional Republicans, was seen as a compromise between moderate and conservative factions.
It would end the "zero tolerance" policy of separating children from those who are criminally prosecuted for illegally crossing the border.
However, Trump on Friday said he was opposed to the bill which had a better chance of passing next week in the US House of Representatives in comparison to the hard-line one.
"I'm looking at both of them," Trump told Fox News. "I certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one."
"I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that."
Hours later, however, the White House said that Trump would support both of the immigration bills.
"The president fully supports both the (Representative Bob) Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill. In this morning's interview, he was commenting on the discharge petition in the House, and not the new package. He would sign either the Goodlatte or the leadership bills," White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement.
Critics of US government policy, which separates children from their parents when they cross the border illegally from Mexico, protest in downtown Los Angeles, California on June 14, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
In a tweet, the president also accused Democrats of “forcing the breakup of families at the border” because they are pushing a “cruel legislative agenda.”
He also pointed to what he wants in new legislation, including “full funding for the Wall,” an end to "Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain" as well as a shift toward “merit based immigration” for skilled workers.
Democrats swiftly went on the counterattack.
“The @HouseGOP immigration proposal is simply unworthy of America,” top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi tweeted.
“The fact that the President himself won’t sign it (because it isn’t *conservative* enough) is a sign of just how low his standards are.”
Trump has promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico to stop immigrants from entering the US and threatened to deploy National Guards to bolster security along the border.[ptv]