THE WASHINGTON TIMES:
President Trump blessed House Republicans’ compromise immigration bill “1,000 percent” Tuesday, giving political cover to conservatives looking to back the bill and creating momentum ahead of a showdown vote expected this week.
He said the legislation, which grants citizenship rights to illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” funds his border wall, limits the chain of family migration and ends the visa lottery, checks off all the boxes on his immediate immigration wish list.
Meeting with Republicans for an hour Tuesday evening, Mr. Trump told them he would welcome a fix to the family separation issue that has engulfed the immigration debate this week. But he made clear that any action would have to come from Congress, not from the administration.
His blessing clears up the mess he left Friday when he said he wouldn’t sign the bill. The White House later said he misunderstood the question, but his wavering left a number of conservatives fearful of voting for the bill only to have the president walk away from the legislation, leaving them on a political ledge.
“He says, ‘I am behind you 1,000 percent and I am not going to leave you out to dry,’ ” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington Republican and chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.