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Trump says he's open to efforts in Congress to protect illegal immigration "Dreamers"

Published: Tuesday, September 05, 2017 @ 12:58 PM

Hours after his Attorney General announced that the feds would phase out an Obama Administration program that keeps young illegal immigrants from being deported, President Trump said he was willing to support efforts in Congress to allow those people to stay in the United States, saying it was the "right thing to do."

"I have a love for these people," Mr. Trump told reporters during a photo op with key lawmakers in the Congress on the issue of tax reform.

"Really, we have no choice, we have to be able to do something," the President added.

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"I think it's going to be the right solution," Mr. Trump said.

A number of Republicans quickly signaled that they would be ready to vote a plan that could lead to a legal status for those who qualify for DACA.

"President Trump is making the correct decision to allow Congress to legislate and return to constitutional order," said Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA).

"There are a lot of people on the Republican side of the aisle who understand your dilemma," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said to Dreamers, as he pressed for a quick vote on a bill to give those younger illegal immigrants a chance to gain U.S. citizenship.

"We want to find a fair solution, because you have done nothing wrong," Graham added, saying that he thought the President's move was correct, because the original DACA decision had been wrong.

The talk about DACA immediately sparked discussions about possible horsetrading, as it seemed unlikely that Republicans - or the White House - would agree to simply pass something that dealt with DACA, and not other immigration issues.

The White House wouldn't say if it wants to get money for a border wall as part of any immigration action in the Congress - but it was clear that the GOP isn't going to just knuckle under over DACA.

"The President wants to see responsible immigration reform, and he wants that to be part of it," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the DACA issue.

"But again, we can’t take just a one-piece fix. We’ve got to do an overall immigration reform that’s responsible and, frankly, that’s lawful. And that’s what the President wants to see Congress do," she added.

Sanders repeatedly said the Congress needs to act - or get out of the way; for some, that seemed like the Trump White House was preparing to lay the blame on lawmakers, if nothing gets approved by the House and Senate related to immigration policy.

One thing the President would certainly want to see is money to build his plan for a wall along the border with Mexico.

"A wall is a non-starter," said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), who advocated fast action now on just the DACA issue. But pressed by reporters, Durbin wouldn't say if he would stick to that if deal making began on immigration.

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