President Donald Trump said Friday he’ll sign an executive order on immigration within the next month that’ll include a "road to citizenship" for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.
In an interview with Telemundo anchor Jose Díaz-Balart, Trump blamed Democrats for walking away from a deal on DACA — and claimed the Supreme Court’s decision to block the plan ending the Obama-era program gave him "tremendous power."
"The deal was done,” he told Díaz-Balart. “DACA is going to be just fine. We’re putting it in. It's going to be just fine. And I am going to be, over the next few weeks, signing an immigration bill that a lot of people don't know about. You have breaking news, but I'm signing a big immigration bill.”
But it’s unclear if the president can grant a category of undocumented immigrants like those in the DACA program permanent legal status with a road to citizenship, The Hill reported.
When President Barack Obama created the program in 2012, he was criticized for executive overreach. After Trump rescinded that memo in 2017, he gave Congress six months to pass a statutory replacement — sparking a flurry of legislative activity that ultimately ended in a deadlock, The Hill noted.
In his interview, Trump contends Democrats broke a deal in leaving the negotiating table after the bipartisan deal had been nixed by the White House.
"I had a deal with the Democrats and they broke the deal,” he told Díaz-Balart. “The DACA could have been taken care of two years ago, but the Democrats broke the deal. All of a sudden they just broke it for no reason. Actually, they had a court case that slightly went their way, and they said, 'Oh, let's not talk about the deal anymore.’”
Trump said now he feels empowered by the Supreme Court ruling, in which Chief Justice John Roberts affirmed the executive branch has the power to do away with DACA, but that proper procedure wasn’t followed in the 2017 order.
"If you look at the Supreme Court ruling, they gave the president tremendous powers when they said that you could take in, in this case, 700 thousand or so people, so they gave powers," said Trump.
"Based on the powers that they gave, I'm going to be doing an immigration bill. One of the aspects of the bill that you will be very happy with, and that a lot of people will be, including me and a lot of Republicans, by the way, will be DACA. It will give them a road to citizenship," he added.