According to the official, Trump hopes that both sides can come together to draft legislation in his first term that holistically addresses the country's immigration system. The official's comments were first reported by CNN. The comments were made during a lunch meeting between Trump and journalists ahead of his address to a joint session of Congress.
The Washington Post confirmed with an attendee that the administration official said that Trump was considering addressing the issue in his speech on Tuesday night.
“It has to be a negotiation,” the official said, according to CNN. “It could be good for everyone.”
“People are exhausted” from debating the topic, the official added.
Among the issues Trump is willing to address, according to the official, is legal status for those who are in the country illegally but have not committed crimes. Trump would not necessarily support a pathway to citizenship, possibly except for “Dreamers,” who were brought into the country illegally as children, CNN reported.
The White House declined to confirm the official's comments.
“The president has been very clear in his process that the immigration system is broken and needs massive reform and he’s made clear that he’s open to having conversations about that moving forward,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House principal deputy press secretary.
“Right now his primary focus, as he has made [clear] over and over again, is border control and security at the border.”
In recent weeks, Trump has expressed openness to revisiting past immigration reform efforts, including the failed 2013 “Gang of Eight” bill, which drew opposition from Republicans.
At a recent meeting with moderate Democratic senators, Trump told them he thought the Gang of Eight bill was something he was interested in revisiting, according to the senators.
“He’s open to reviewing the piece of legislation,” Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said. “He says, ‘Well, you’ve got to start working on it again,’ and I said, ‘Absolutely we will.’ And that was encouraging.”
The White House later denied that Trump was open to the legislation and said that he considered the bill to be “amnesty.”
by, washingtonpost.com https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/28/trump-open-to-compromise-immigration-reform-bill-administration-official-says/