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White House walks back Trump's rejection of immigration compromise

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By Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

President Trump in fact supports both of the House GOP immigration bills expected to receive votes next week and misspoke earlier Friday when he said that he would oppose a compromise measure between centrists and conservatives, a White House official told The Hill.

"Yes, we fully support both the Goodlatte bill and the Leadership bill. The President misunderstood the question this morning on Fox News," the source said in an email. "He was commenting on the discharge petition/dreamers bill - not the new package. He would 100 percent sign either Goodlatte or the other bill."

Centrists had tried to use a discharge petition to force leadership to move on four different immigration proposals, including one backed by Democrats that protects so-called "Dreamers," beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the rest of House leadership managed to block that attempt earlier this week, and will instead bring forth a pair of immigration bills, including a more hardline measure from Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

The president said Friday morning during an appearance on "Fox and Friends" that he was looking at both pieces of legislation, but "certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one."

His comments resulted in chaos on Capitol Hill, with House Republicans scrapping their plans to whip the legislation - released Thursday evening - crafted following meetings between leadership, centrists and top members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

"We want to get clarity on the president's position on this bill," chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) told reporters. "Republicans are not going to take on immigration without the support and endorsement of President Trump."

Both moderates leading the discharge petition efforts, which would circumvent leadership and force votes on four separate proposals, and conservatives noted the bill was still a work in progress.

Despite the compromise bill coming together following meetings between negotiations from all factions of the GOP, conservatives have expressed concern that it lacks provisions to address e-verify, the guest worker program and sanctuary cities.

The president took to Twitter Friday afternoon to express his support for House Republicans' efforts to come to an agreement on immigration that meets his four pillars: a pathway to citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an end to "chain migration," the elimination of the visa lottery system and strengthening border security.

The measure also ends the separation of immigrant children and parents at the border, closes "catch and release" immigration loopholes and contains a trigger mechanism to halt the new visas if Congress denies funding for the wall.

- Scott Wong contributed.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: White House walks back Trump's rejection of immigration compromise
White House walks back Trump's rejection of immigration compromise
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