White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway would not confirm which of the House’s competing immigration bills President Donald Trump supports during an interview with Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Conway joined Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) for the interview at a House Republican Conference media event on the nation’s opioid epidemic — a crisis intricately tied to the ongoing immigration debate. The House is expected to vote on Thursday on two immigration bills: the so-called “Goodlatte Bill,” introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Speaker Paul Ryan’s “compromise” bill.
“The president did not make [it] clear one way or the other yesterday [which bill he supports] — and for a reason,” Conway told House. “Everybody knows where he stands on immigration and he’ll see what they put on his desk, but I think everybody should take great heart in the fact that he showed up to the conference [and] discussed the different bills. I know they were conferencing this morning. This is the way the process should work. I think nobody has been more explicit about immigration reform than the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”
“The Democrats only seem to want to talk about the ‘DREAMers’, they only want to talk about DACA,” Conway added. “The president and his allies in Congress have been talking about other measures as well. And the president makes very clear that we’re a sovereign nation that needs physical borders.”
Walden, by contrast, expressed his confidence President Trump supports his favored bill, the more lenient and amnesty-heavy Ryan bill. “Oh yeah [Trump said what he wanted last night]. He did. I was there. A thousand percent. A thousand percent he said. Because our bill — his bill — has the four pillars in it that he’s been after,” Walden told House. “The president’s all in. He said it last night.”
“Well, the president is all in to sign a piece of legislation that gets to his desk that accomplishes his immigration goals,” Conway countered slightly. “And he recognizes as we all do, the legislature makes the laws, and he executes them so we’ll see what arrives.”
Conway thanked House for “talking about fentanyl and heroin and the other drugs and poison that are just pouring over our borders,” drawing the issue back to the conference topic.
“Fentanyl, which is 50 times the potency as heroin, 100 times the potency of morphine, is coming into our communities, poisoning our kids, killing our neighbors and our family members. And we need to be more on top of that … but the president has been giving voice to this for three years now.”
Overshadowing the discussion over the bills is the fury pouring out from the Left over the separate detention of the relatively small number of children apprehended on the border with illegal alien parents who are facing criminal immigration charges.
“Most of these children are being separated not from their families, but by their families. These unaccompanied minors are coming here alone. And that’s not getting enough attention,” Conway said, pointing out the far more common category of children being detained.
“We literally don’t know what happened to the tens of thousands of Central American girls and boys who came here unaccompanied in the summer of 2014 and later,” Conway told House. “If you can tell me with a straight face, as I have challenged everyone in the mainstream media to do — no one’s called me today on it — that you’re comfortable they’re all alive, they’re all with people who love them, they’re safe, they’re healthy, they’re being educated, and not sex trafficked, they’re not dead, they haven’t been raped… people have to go read the stories and not the soundbites.”
Conway also expressed concern over activists openly harassing and threatening figures like Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “I’m deeply concerned for the safety of folks who, in [Nielsen’s] case she says she’s enforcing the law and doing her job. I wish people would not show up at folks’ houses and harass them thusly.”