House Freedom Caucus (HFC) Chairman Mark Meadows said the powerful conservative group is planning to craft a bill aimed at reforming the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.
President Donald Trump placed a six month limit in September on the Obama-era executive order, which provides a safeguard for more than 800,000 illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The measure provides Congress a window to deliver a legislative solution for the program. Meadows told reporters Tuesday the HFC is hoping to put together a working group to begin constructing the measure within the week.
“We’re actually working on legislation. We obviously have a six-month time frame coming up to deal with DACA, and so it’s better that we put some guys on it to work on — work on legislation instead of just waiting back for something to happen,” Meadows said.
The North Carolina Republican said the conservative group is hoping to compose a “multifaceted” plan to deal with immigration-related issues.
“What we’re trying to do is get a consensus among conservatives in what we need to do there,” he said. “What we are doing is trying to get a couple Freedom Caucus folks to look at immigration, DACA, border security, e-verify, all the issues, and figure out the best approach to deal with all of that.”
Meadows said it’s critical they put forward a solution that meets conservative principles as Congress failed to deliver a debt-ceiling proposal consistent with the messaging GOP lawmakers touted on the campaign trail.
“Administration officials don’t want to be caught flat footed with no proposals. And with the debt ceiling, there were no conservative solutions. It was either a three-month clean one that got passed, an 18-month clean one or 24-months clean debt ceiling that was passed,” he said. “It’s incumbent on us to put out some conservative and compassionate solutions to address it. We’re taking that task as a real challenge.”
Meadows said he has told the White House any DACA reform bill will need to include language on border security if they want it to pass with conservative support.
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