The Latest: Democrats press for House action on immigration

AP News
Posted: Sep 06, 2017 3:58 PM
The Latest: Democrats press for House action on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress and DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

Democratic lawmakers are slowing House debate on a spending bill by pressing for a vote on legislation to protect certain young immigrants from deportation and give them an opportunity to obtain legal status.

One by one, Democratic members of the House are lining up to display pictures of young people living in their congressional districts and offering brief descriptions of them.

For example, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., has shown a picture of a young man he identified as Eduardo. Lowenthal says Eduardo attends UCLA and is an anti-bullying activist.

Lowenthal and the other Democratic lawmakers are trying to bring up legislation called the DREAM Act. It's in response to President Donald Trump's decision to formally rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.


2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he believes Congress will come up with a legislative fix for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who were brought here as children.

Trump on Tuesday suspended a program for these immigrants and gave lawmakers six months to resolve their status.

Trump told reporters traveling with him that he'd like to see a permanent deal and that he thinks it will happen. He predicted having great support from both sides of Congress.

Trump said in a tweet late Tuesday that he would "revisit" the issue if Congress blew its six-month deadline. He said Wednesday that revisiting the issue may be unnecessary because "Congress really wants to do this."

He says the issue was discussed during an Oval Office meeting with top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders.


11:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he has "no second thoughts" on his decision to end protections against deportations for young immigrants brought to the country illegal as children.

Trump says during a meeting in the Oval Office with congressional leaders that he doesn't have any second thoughts on the move and he's hopeful Congress will act.

He says, "I certainly hope they do."

Trump gave lawmakers a six-month delay to push immigration legislation to address the issue. He tweeted on Tuesday night that if Congress doesn't "legalize DACA," he will "revisit this issue!"


11:45 a.m.

Ohio's outspoken Republican governor is blasting President Donald Trump's decision to begin dismantling the Obama-era program protecting young immigrants brought into the country illegally.

On Wednesday's "CBS This Morning," Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) said "putting kids, young people who are contributors in jeopardy" isn't the American way.

He invited immigrants to "come to Ohio," where he said they'll be appreciated for their contributions.

Kasich, a 2016 presidential rival, was reacting to Trump's plan to reject all new applications to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and formally rescind the program.

The president gave Congress six months to legalize it or he'll revisit whether to continue renewing existing work permits for participants, called "Dreamers."

Ohio's estimated 4,400 Dreamers contribute about $250 million to the state's gross domestic product.


10:45 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says that if Congress doesn't pass protections for immigrants brought to this country illegally as children, Democrats will move to attach it to other items this fall "until it passes."

The New York Democrat said in a Senate floor speech that aid for those immigrants "would likely pass without much fuss."

Schumer said "we could solve this problem tomorrow rather than letting the fear of deportation hang over the heads of 800,000" young immigrants, many of whom only know the U.S. as their home.

The announcement came a day after President Donald Trump announced he would end protections against deportation for such immigrants, which Former President Barack Obama issued by executive order in 2012. Trump gave lawmakers a six-month delay in an attempt to craft immigration legislation.


10:05 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is telling Republicans that they will address the issue of immigration through the regular legislative process.

That's the word from Rep. Dennis Ross on Wednesday after the weekly closed-door meeting. Ross said Ryan told the GOP caucus that the leaders "were not going to jam anybody, we're going to go through the process." That means the chamber will not put the legislation on a fast track, but go through a more deliberative process.

President Donald Trump is dismantling the program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. He gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution.

Congress has repeatedly struggled to come up with a legislation solution to deal with immigration.


7:20 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he believes "there's a congressional deal to be made" that could resolve the question of a legal shield for young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally while improving border security without building a wall.

Graham says in a nationally broadcast interview that lawmakers could restore a "Dream Act" for the young while also enhancing border security — without constructing the 2,200-mile wall (3540.39-kilometers) that President Donald Trump has advocated since his campaign for the White House.

But Graham also tells MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show Congress needs "to define what an acceptable 'Dream Act' would look like."

The South Carolina Republican, who is working on a bill with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says he thinks Trump should turn to White House chief of staff John Kelly, who previously headed the Department of Homeland Security, for advice on border issues.


3:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump's announcement on immigration has Congress staring down an election-year deadline on an issue that bitterly divides the president's own party, and that has painfully eluded lawmakers time and again.

Four years after comprehensive immigration legislation passed the Senate only to die in the House, Trump tossed to Congress the question of what to do with almost 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced that the administration will begin dismantling protections these immigrants were granted by former President Barack Obama, and the program will end unless Congress acts first.

What will actually happen in six months absent congressional action remained unclear. Trump himself took some of the sting from his threats with a tweet issued late Tuesday, after a day of turmoil and debate, declaring that if Congress can't act to "legalize" the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, "I will revisit this issue!"