Trump hints at executive order providing ‘road to citizenship’ for DACA recipients

President Donald Trump’s latest remarks about a forthcoming executive order have confounded liberals and conservatives alike.

According to The Hill, he is prepared to sign an immigration order he said would provide a “road to citizenship” for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. Trump’s comments came during an interview with Telemundo on Friday.

“A very major immigration bill”

“I’m going to do a big executive order,” he told anchor Jose Diaz-Balart. “I have the power to do it and I’m going to make DACA a part of it. 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.”

While the potential scope and impact of such an order remains ambiguous, he apparently referenced the recent decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration did not follow proper procedure in making its case to strike down DACA protections authorized by President Barack Obama.

As for what role DACA would play in his upcoming executive order, Trump offered some additional details.

The president said that recipients, who were brought to the United States as minors, would be addressed as part of a “much bigger bill on immigration,” which could lead to citizenship for such undocumented immigrants.

“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,” he said.

“A negotiated legislative solution”

Trump went on to confirm that DACA will be “one of the aspects” of the bill — specifically promising that it will provide “a road to citizenship.”

The announcement came as a surprise to a number of prominent Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who tweeted that there “is ZERO constitutional authority for a President to create a ‘road to citizenship’ by executive fiat.”

Cruz went on to advise that “it would be a HUGE mistake if Trump tries to illegally expand amnesty.”

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere issued a statement in response denying that Trump is considering amnesty. He asserted that the president “is working on an executive order to establish a merit-based immigration system to further protect U.S. workers” and “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.”

Trump is expected to sign the order within the next month. For now, however, it remains unclear exactly what it will contain.

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