Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that a legislative solution to replace an Obama-era program designed to protect children of undocumented immigrants from deportation will need to include border security measures and have the support of President Donald Trump.
The Wisconsin Republican said the dilemma that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided work permits and social security numbers for roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, sought to alleviate was a symptom of a larger border security problem.
“It’s only reasonable and fitting that we also address the root cause of the problem, which is borders that are not sufficiently controlled while we address this very real and very human problem that’s right in front of us,” Ryan said.
Ryan said President Obama “overstepped his constitutional bounds” in creating DACA via executive order in 2012 and for that reason Trump was right to end the program.
“He made the right call,” Ryan said. “I’m also encouraged by the fact that he gave us time to work out a consensus, to find a compromise because these kids for the most part don’t know any other home than the United States.”
Congress will spend the next few months finding out where that compromise exists, Ryan said, but emphasized that it’s got to a be solution that Trump and the GOP conference will support.
Without attaching border security measures — and perhaps funding for Trump’s proposed border wall — an immigration bill would likely not have support from a majority of Republicans.
When Ryan became speaker in 2015, he promised conservatives he would not bring an immigration bill to the House floor if it did not have the support from a majority of the GOP conference.
Asked Wednesday if he still stands by that position, Ryan said, “We will not be advancing legislation that does not have the support of President Trump because we’re going to work with the president on how to do this legislation. And if we have legislation coming through here that is worked with and supported by the president, I’m very confident that our members will support that.”
Speaking in multiple venues Wednesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called on both Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to call up legislation to address the legal status of current recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which Trump is phasing out.
“I’d ask my friend the majority leader and Speaker Ryan to put a clean DREAM Act on the floor of both chambers in September. Every Democrat is ready to vote for that legislation. We know many Republicans in both chambers would vote for it as well. It would likely pass without much fuss,” Schumer said on the floor. “If we can’t get that to happen, we will add it to legislative vehicles that are moving, until we get it done. It is that important to us, and to America.”