Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

A look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington:

Congress Immigration

McConnell says he's 'very sympathetic' to 'Dreamers' as Trump weighs what to do with young immigrants

As President Trump wrestles over what to do with young immigrants in the U.S. illegally, the "Dreamers" may have found an ally in the Senate GOP leader, who acknowledged a soft spot Friday for them.

"I’m very sympathetic with this situation," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.

"These are young people who were brought here at a tender age and who have grown up here or are in the process of growing up here," said McConnell, whose wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, immigrated to the U.S. as a child.

"I’m anxious to see what the president decides to do," McConnell said.

A day earlier, the president openly expressed the personal and political dilemma he faces in fulfilling his campaign promise to take a hard line against illegal immigration.

On the one hand, Trump faces pressure from anti-immigration advocates to keep his pledge to undo President Obama's executive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and step up deportations on those in the country illegally.

But more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children are now being temporarily protected from deportation under Obama's program and given work permits. Stories abound of their lives in the U.S. — many have scant memory of their home countries — and they are now attending school, serving in the military and working.

Senior Trump aides have identified at least two ways for the administration to quietly end the program, shielding the president from blowback through administrative and legal actions.

It is unclear whether Trump will take those steps or allow the program to continue.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
63°