House Freedom Caucus (HFC) Chairman Mark Meadows said the powerful conservative group is planning to craft a bill aimed at reforming theÂ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.
President Donald TrumpÂ placed a six month limitÂ in September on the Obama-era executive order, which provides a safeguard for more than 800,000 illegalÂ immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The measure provides Congress a window to deliver aÂ legislativeÂ 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.
â€œWeâ€™re actually working on legislation. We obviously have a six-month time frame coming up to deal with DACA, and so itâ€™s better that we put some guys on it to work on â€” work on legislation instead of just waiting back for something to happen,â€ Meadows said.
The North Carolina Republican said the conservative group is hoping to compose a â€œmultifacetedâ€ plan to deal with immigration-related issues.
â€œWhat weâ€™re trying to do is get a consensus among conservatives in what we need to do there,â€ he said. â€œWhat 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.â€
Meadows said itâ€™s critical they put forward a solution that meets conservative principles as Congress failed to deliver a debt-ceiling proposal consistentÂ with the messaging GOP lawmakers touted on the campaign trail.
â€œAdministration officials donâ€™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,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s incumbent on us to put out some conservative and compassionate solutions to address it. Weâ€™re taking that task as a real challenge.â€
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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