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Trump not to sign ‘moderate’ immigration bill, lashes out at Comey

House Republicans have been working on two competing bills, one supported by hardliners and the other by moderates

world Updated: Jun 16, 2018 00:09 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,Green Cards,Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
A file phot of US President Donald Trump(AP)

President Donald Trump on Friday said he would not sign an immigration bill being put together by “moderate” Republicans that removed country-limits on Green Cards for employment-based immigrants, holding out a promise of major relief for Indians.

“I’m looking at both of them. I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one,” he said.

House Republicans have been working on two competing bills, one supported by hardliners and the other by moderates. Both bills incorporate Trump’s tough immigration agenda such as enhanced border security and end to family-based migration.

But the one piloted by moderates offers a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants brought as children, beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

Trump’s remarks came as a surprise and threw the whole process into confusion as there was a general understanding on Capitol Hill that the White House was backing both bills. The leadership has planned a vote for next week.

The removal of country-limit on Green Card is included in both bills, but because the hardliners’ legislation had little chance of making it, hopes of the hundred of thousands of Indians waiting for Green Cards were pinned on the moderate alternative.

There was no word on whether President Trump’s remarks were a negotiating position taken with the intention to make moderate bill tougher, or that he did not want a compromise. He has been backing the bill put together by the hardliners.

The president also spoke on other issues. On the inspector general’s report on FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, he called the former FBI director James Comey a “disgrace” and in an interview to Fox, he said the former director’s action were “criminal”.

The watchdog agency said Comey had been insubordinate in his dealings about the Clinton investigation and broken longstanding protocols, but did not find his action politically motivated.

First Published: Jun 16, 2018 00:09 IST