There are reports that President Trump might call for some kind of amnesty for illegal aliens who have not committed serious crimes in his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday.
The reports came after journalists attended a White House luncheon Tuesday and cited a “senior White House official” for the statement on the controversial issue.
NBC’s Lester Holt and Chuck Todd are quoting a White House official as saying Trump may issue a call for immigration “compromise,” while Dara Lind of Vox contributed a full quote from the official, saying “The time is right for an immigration bill if both sides are willing to compromise.”
George Stephanopoulos of NBC characterized the White House official’s statement as indicating the president “believes now may be time for immigration bill that has compromise on all sides.”
“The word that President Trump may ask lawmakers to tackle comprehensive immigration reform sparked quick reaction up on Capitol Hill,” Blitzer said, then asked CNN’s senior congressional reporter Manu Raju, “Manu what are you hearing?”
“Well, mixed reaction Wolf, even on the Republican side of the aisle,” Raju explained.
Some conservatives who have pushed for tougher border security measures don’t want to go this route, including Steve Scalise (R-La.) one of the members of the Republican leadership telling our colleague Deirdre Walsh that, “I want us to secure our border, that needs to be our priority, not a compromise bill.”
But some other Republicans open to the idea, including Marco Rubio of Florida, who also told our colleague Ashley Killough that actually he could be open to something like this. Of course he tried to cut that immigration deal in 2013. And on the Democratic side a lot of skepticism including from Oregon’s Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) who I talked to about this idea, possibly of giving legal status to people who are here undocumented but haven’t committed serious crimes. He wasn’t so sure about that idea.
“I would have to see the details of any proposal,” said Wyden to Raju. “Certainly if he is looking at something bipartisan, he’s gonna have to walk some of the statements that he has made time after time after time. Which would in effect would say that there would be a lot of focus by immigration authorities like ICE on people who haven’t committed any serious crimes.”
When asked by Raju, “Would you be open to any citizenship just legal status?” Wyden responded, “I’d have to see the details.”
“Indeed and also,” Raju continued, “the Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was asked ‘is there any compromise bill that you believe that Donald Trump could get behind that you could get behind,’ and he said that ‘he’s got a lot to undo.'”
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) February 28, 2017
However, leaks of this nature have come out of the administration many times before and been completely discredited, leading some to speculate that Trump is orchestrating leaks for the sake of undermining the credibility of the media. And, as some have noted, they could have been reporting on idle speculation by a White House official that was being seriously considered but may not make it into the final draft of the speech.
Trump had called for all illegal aliens to be deported, but has since walked back his position and said that perhaps some could stay if they hadn’t committed serious crimes. Many hard-line Republicans are demanding no concessions be given at all to the illegal alien advocates who are now organizing “underground railroad” homes to house illegals from ICE deportations. Democrats are also planning to bring recipients of Obama’s amnesty to Trump’s address Tuesday.