Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows: No DACA Amnesty Without Immigration Reforms

immigrant DACA donald trump
AP/Jose Luis Magana

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) reacted to the meeting on Tuesday at the White House with President Donald Trump and members of the House and Senate by sending a text message of his opposition to a “two-step” process on immigration reform that would put DACA amnesty first and comprehensive immigration reform later.

In the meeting, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Trump if he would be open to a “clean” DACA bill that would give about 800,000 illegal aliens legal status and a possible pathway to citizenship followed by legislation with immigration reforms.

Trump responded, “I would like it. … I think a lot of people would like to see that, but I think we have to do DACA first,” the second step being immigration reform legislation.

The Associated Press (AP) reported the reaction from Meadows, who was not at the meeting:

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., leader of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, said in a text message after the White House meeting he was “generally” opposed to a two-step process “because history would indicate the second step never happens.” But he later said that if the first steps included the four areas outlined by the White House, “then I could support a two-step process realizing that step one is the only thing that is guaranteed.”

The AP also reported that “the president said he would insist on construction of a border security wall as part of an agreement involving young immigrants, but he said Congress could then pursue a comprehensive immigration overhaul in a second phase of talks.”

NBC producer Alex Moe tweeted on Tuesday, “NEW: House Freedom Caucus Chair Meadows says a two-step approach to immigration (DACA & then comprehensive) is a complete non-starter”:

The Freedom Caucus twitter account retweeted Moe’s tweet:

Meadows’ press secretary, Ben Williamson, told Breitbart News that he could confirm that the lawmaker was opposed to a two-step approach to immigration reform.

In September, Trump ended DACA but gave Congress six months to deal with the issue ahead of the March expiration date. However, on Tuesday, in a lawsuit brought by former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano against current DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a federal district court in California ordered the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately reinstate DACA.

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