AUSTIN, Texas — The president’s effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration system was greeted with widespread condemnation Thursday, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he would not support any effort that would allow “illegal aliens” to enter the United States.
The comments from Ryan, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, came a day after President Donald Trump announced he had decided to halt deportations and suspend the program that allows undocumented immigrants to receive work permits and other benefits.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, called Trump’s plan “unacceptable.”
“We are not going to allow a border to be closed.
And I think we should be very careful what we say and do to illegal aliens,” Ryan said on the Senate floor.
Ryan’s comments come after the White House said Friday it would stop deportations of undocumented immigrants, and it was the first time Trump had publicly acknowledged such a decision. “
And I think this is an area that we should not be taking advantage of.”
Ryan’s comments come after the White House said Friday it would stop deportations of undocumented immigrants, and it was the first time Trump had publicly acknowledged such a decision.
The White House has not yet provided a timeline for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented immigrant parents of U.S.-born children to apply for legal status.
Ryan said the move would “make it more difficult for children to stay here, and we’re going to end DACA.”
Ryan and Trump, along with other lawmakers, have argued the program would not be extended beyond Jan. 5, when Trump was sworn in as president.
But Trump told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt Friday that the DACA program would be renewed “under certain conditions.”
“You’re going take care of them and they’re going be allowed to come back.
That’s what we’re doing,” Trump said.
“If they want to come here, we’ll allow them to come.”
Trump, in his remarks to the Senate, also promised to “get it done,” and to “stop the DACA madness” by the end of his term.
He also said he would work to “keep families together” and that he was not going “to let families of undocumented people go.
That is a dangerous thing to do.”
In his remarks Thursday, Trump acknowledged that he could not legally allow undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United Kingdom for more than five years to remain here.
But he said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said “all the nations of the world agree that it is the right thing to be doing.”
Ryan, the Senate’s top Republican, also defended the president’s decision, saying he believed Trump had the authority to stop the deportations.
“He’s the president.
He has to do it.
He can’t just do it and be silent,” Ryan told the House floor.
House Speaker Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., tweeted that Trump’s action was “reckless.”
“This is a reckless decision that will hurt Americans and hurt families,” Conyers said in a statement.
“The American people deserve better.”
In response to the announcement, the American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration advocacy group, called it “an unacceptable step backward.”
“If President Trump truly believes that his action will protect the American people, then he should immediately rescind his executive order, implement a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, and make DACA permanent,” the council said in an email.
“This executive order was never intended to be a ‘path to citizenship’ for DACA immigrants, but to deny them access to the benefits of the American Dream.”
Ryan defended the decision Thursday by arguing that Trump was acting in the interest of the United State.
“There is a line between enforcing the law and putting American lives at risk,” Ryan, R-Wis., said in his statement.
Ryan and Ryan, along in the Senate with a number of Republican colleagues, said Trump’s decision was “unlawful, illegal, and reckless.”
Trump’s executive order also prevents the deportation of “criminal aliens,” which the White Star Line, a Washington lobbying firm that represents some of the country’s largest companies, called “an irresponsible and unconstitutional policy” that “will not deter illegal immigration.”
The White Star Lines, which represents General Motors, Pfizer, AT&T, and Walmart, all declined to comment on Thursday’s remarks from the president and House Speaker Ryan.
“In this day and age, the president has a duty to enforce the law, but that duty is not a function of being a ‘lawyer’ and having a good heart,” White Star’s spokeswoman, Kristina Jorgensen, said in statement.