President Trump on Friday pledged to sign an executive order creating a “road to citizenship” for “Dreamer” immigrants — although a press secretary later backpedaled on the plan and some experts say he’s not authorized to do so, New York Post reports.
Trump told Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart that the order would lead to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
“One of the aspects of the [order] is going to be DACA. We are going to have a road to citizenship,” Trump said.
But immigration experts and his fellow Republicans said Trump would have to go through Congress for such a sweeping immigration policy.
“There is ZERO constitutional authority for a President to create a ‘road to citizenship’ by executive fiat,” tweeted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. “It was unconstitutional when Obama issued executive amnesty, and it would be a HUGE mistake if Trump tries to illegally expand amnesty.”
White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere later released a statement saying “As the President announced today, he is working on an executive order to establish a merit-based immigration system to further protect U.S. workers.”
The statement added, “Furthermore, the President has long said he is willing to work with Congress on a negotiated legislative solution to DACA, one that could include citizenship, along with strong border security and permanent merit-based reforms. “This does not include amnesty.”