WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on immigration (all times local):
President Donald Trump says he won’t sign a “moderate” immigration bill written by House Republicans. His comment deals an apparent damaging blow to GOP lawmakers hoping to push legislation through the House next week.
Republicans have produced a hard-right immigration measure and a separate package negotiated by the party’s battling moderates and conservatives.
Both bills have stringent border security provisions. Only the compromise measure offers a chance at citizenship for young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children.
Trump tells reporters that he’s looking at both plans. But, he says, “I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one.”
He also says he needs money to build a wall with Mexico. Both bills have that.
Trump’s words are causing confusion among GOP leaders, who have said Trump backs the compromise.
Congressional Republicans have distanced themselves from the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its “zero tolerance” approach to illegal border crossings.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said “it is very biblical to enforce the law.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions had earlier cited the Bible in his defense of the border policy that has resulted in hundreds of children being separated from their parents.
The comments came as House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans said they were not comfortable with family separations.