President Trump appeared to endorse a pathway to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants on Wednesday, suggesting a shift from his more hard-line positions during the presidential campaign.
Trump told reporters at the White House that he plans to have illegal immigrants who came here as children “morph into” citizens after a period of 10-12 years.
“We’re going to morph into it, it’s going to happen over a period of 10-12 years,” Trump said, when asked if an immigration deal will include a pathway to citizenship for the illegal immigrants previously covered under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program.
“If somebody’s worked hard, if they’ve done a great job, it gives you an incentive to do a great job,” Trump said. “They’ve worked hard, They’ve done terrifically, whether they have a little company, or whether they work, whatever they’re doing, if they done a great job, I think it’s a nice thing to have the incentive after a period of time to become a citizen.”
Trump ended the DACA program in September but gave Congress a six-month window to work out a legislative solution.
Trump also said he wants “great border security” as part of any deal and said he thinks DACA is a better issue for Republicans than for Democrats.
The president also said he is “looking forward” to meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russia investigation. (RELATED: Trump ‘Looking Forward’ To Interview With Mueller)
Saagar Enjeti contributed reporting.