After facing an insurgency from their own ranks, House Republicans had made a decision to vote on two immigration bills next week: (1) a conservative bill that Trump seems open to signing into law because it cuts legal immigration in exchange for some protections for dreamers and (2) a more moderate bill that would give dreamers a path to permanent residency in exchange for $25 billion for the president's border wall.
"This bill will be hard to pass with Republican votes only unless President Trump says that he is considering supporting it". But, he says, "I certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one". But only the compromise measure gives young immigrants who arrived in the US illegally as children a chance to ultimately become citizens.
President Donald Trump said Friday that he "hates" migrant parents being separated from their children at the U.S. -Mexico border and insisted that the "Democratic law" that requires the separation can only be changed by Democratic lawmakers, despite the Republican majorities in Congress.
House Republicans unveiled a "discussion draft" of a sweeping immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for young immigrants, $25 billion in border security - including advance funds for President Donald Trump's wall with Mexico - and a provision aimed at addressing the crisis of family separations at the border. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, that would provide a pathway to legal status for Dreamers while limiting legal immigration levels.
Despite their policy clashes, both Republican factions have been eager for the votes to be held as a way to show constituents where they stand, and party leaders want to move on from an issue that divides the GOP and complicates their effort to retain House control in November's elections.
"This bill is an amnesty for the parents of DACAs as well", said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports restricting immigration.
"WH official tells @PamelaBrownCNN that Trump "misunderstood" the question about immigration this morning and does indeed support the GOP compromise bill - despite saying on Fox he doesn't".
"The President fully supports both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill".
"The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their frightful and cruel legislative agenda", Trump tweeted. Or, as former White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn put it more succinctly on Thursday at the Washington Post when discussing the ever-turbulent West Wing, where policy stances can quickly shift: "Tomorrow's a different day".
"I'm looking at both of them", Trump told reporters at the White House. He says leaders are seeking "clarity" from the White House.
"He keeps us all excited about how we are going to get things done", Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican from Florida and supporter of the compromise bill, told CNN.
"Everything we've heard has been very negative", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said when asked whether Democrats might support it. "House GOP Immigration Bill Would End Family Separation At Border", reads one NPR headline.