(Reuters) – The executive order planned by United States President Donald Trump on immigration will not include amnesty for migrants who are illegally in the United States but arrived in the country as children, a spokesman for the White House.
United States President Donald Trump listens during a panel discussion on Venezuela while visiting the Doral Jesus Church Worship Center in Doral, Florida, USA, July 10, 2020. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
“This does not include amnesty,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement, after Trump said in a television interview that his planned order would include a path to citizenship for those immigrants, known as “Dreamers.”
In an interview with Spanish-language television station Telemundo, Trump said his executive order would involve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants from deportation.
“I am going to make a great executive order. … And I’m going to make DACA a part of that, “Trump said.” We are going to have a path to citizenship. ”
Last month, the US Supreme Court dealt a major setback to Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, blocking his attempt to end DACA, which was created in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
The ruling did not prevent Trump from trying again to end the program. But his administration may find it difficult to rescind it, and win any subsequent legal battles, before the November 3 elections in which he seeks a second term.
The White House statement said that Trump’s executive order would establish a merit-based immigration system and reiterated that Trump would work with Congress on a legislative solution that “could include citizenship, along with strong border security and permanent reforms. based on merit, “but not amnesty.
Approximately 644,000 people, mostly Hispanic immigrants born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, are currently enrolled in DACA, which protects them from deportation and grants them work permits. Their average age is 26 years. It does not offer a path to citizenship.
Trump’s remarks to Telemundo sparked an immediate reprimand from fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who wrote in a Twitter post that “it would be a HUGE mistake if Trump tries to illegally expand the amnesty.”
“There is a ZERO constitutional authority for a President to create a” path to citizenship “by executive mandate,” Cruz wrote.
Trump gave the interview to Telemundo as part of his outreach to Hispanic voters, who will be crucial to the outcome of his Nov. 3 election confrontation with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Reports by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech in Washington; Written by John Whitesides; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall