House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Wednesday that he wanted any “compromise” related to DACA recipients to be tied to addressing what he called the “larger problem” of border security.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday rescinded DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, putting hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation after their work permits expire. Later on Tuesday, though, Trump told Congress to “legalize DACA.”
Asked in a press briefing whether he would support a standalone bill to turn DACA into law (it was created via an executive action by former President Barack Obama in 2012), Ryan said he wanted any legislation concerning DACA tied to border security.
He called the “DACA dilemma” a “symptom of a larger problem.”
“The larger problem is that we do not have control of our borders,” Ryan said. “And so it’s only reasonable and fitting that we also address the root cause of the problem, which is borders that are not sufficiently controlled, while we address this very real and very human problem that’s right in front of us.”
Trump has long pressured Congress to pay for the construction of a continuous wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, despite insisting during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for it. Though the President hasn’t recently referred to previous threats to shut down the government if the wall was not paid for, DACA could provide Republicans leverage to extract funding for the barrier.
On Tuesday, Ryan said Trump ending DACA “fulfills a promise” that the President made on the campaign trail. Trump did say in 2016 that he would end DACA. Still, after being elected, he made numerous pledges to DACA recipients, including that his administration would show “great heart” and that DACA recipients should “rest easy.”
Ryan added on Tuesday that he would seek a “permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.”
Five days ago, Ryan said of the prospect of Trump rescinding DACA: “I actually don’t think he should do that.” On Wednesday, he said: “President Trump was right in his decision — he made the right call.”
This post has been updated.