President Trump will soon be revisiting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after the United States Supreme Court ruled his reasoning for ending the program was inadequate.
During an interview with Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart, the president said he was given additional powers through the court decision—powers he intends to put to use by signing DACA into a new executive order.
“The deal was done. DACA is going to be just fine. We’re putting it in. It’s going to be just fine. And I am going to be, over the next few weeks, signing an immigration bill that a lot of people don’t know about. You have breaking news, but I’m signing a big immigration bill,” Trump said, as the Hill reports.
Díaz-Balart asked whether the move would be an executive order and Trump answered in the affirmative.
“I’m going to do a big executive order,” he answered. “I have the power to do it as president and I’m going to make DACA a part of it.”
Trump then suggested there would be a number of changes made to the program.
“But, we put it in, and we’ll probably going to then be taking it out. We’re working out the legal complexities right now, but I’m going to be signing a very major immigration bill as an executive order, which Supreme Court now, because of the DACA decision, has given me the power to do that,” he said.
The anchor then asked whether Trump would just be extending the temporary coverage or if the deal would be larger.
“No, what I’m going to do is that they’re going to part of a much bigger bill on immigration. It’s going to be a very big bill, a very good bill, and merit-based bill and it will include DACA, and I think people are going to be very happy,” the president said.
He added: “But one of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We’re going to have a road to citizenship.”
Trump argued the choice was back on his desk as Democrats broke their previous agreement on DACA.
“I had a deal with the Democrats and they broke the deal. The DACA could have been taken care of two years ago, but the Democrats broke the deal. All of a sudden they just broke it for no reason. Actually, they had a court case that slightly went their way, and they said, ‘Oh, let’s not talk about the deal anymore,'” he said.
The president also said he was empowered by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, not limited as his political opponents have claimed.
“If you look at the Supreme Court ruling, they gave the president tremendous powers when they said that you could take in, in this case, 700 thousand or so people, so they gave powers,” he continued. “Based on the powers that they gave, I’m going to be doing an immigration bill.”
“One of the aspects of the bill that you will be very happy with, and that a lot of people will be, including me and a lot of Republicans, by the way, will be DACA. It will give them a road to citizenship,” Trump added.
Watch some of the exchange below:
Trump: “One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We are going to have a road to citizenship.” pic.twitter.com/M926cty8A1
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 10, 2020
Republican lawmakers like Senator Ted Cruz quickly criticized the idea of creating a more permanent pathway to citizenship for those under the program via executive order, calling it “a HUGE mistake.”
The White House, however, seemingly contradicted Trump’s comments shortly after the interview. The Hill reports the White House said Trump’s order would not include amnesty.
Deputy press secretary Judd Deere released a statement that said: “As the President announced today, he is working on an executive order to establish a merit-based immigration system to further protect U.S. workers. Furthermore, the President has long said he is willing to work with Congress on a negotiated legislative solution to DACA, one that could include citizenship, along with strong border security and permanent merit-based reforms. This does not include amnesty.”