The Republican Party should focus on economic policy, not immigration, President Donald Trump has said.
“What I think about immigration, and what we’re doing with border security and enforcement, is a matter of national security and national security concerns,” he said.
In fact, it was Trump’s predecessor who advocated for a broad range of immigration policies during his presidency, including expanding the number of refugees accepted into the United States.
And it was his predecessor who championed policies to reduce immigration and to expand it, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.
But Trump, who took office in January, has said that he has no plans to expand the DACA program.
So, where does the GOP stand on immigration?
What is the Republican Party’s position on immigration, at least as it pertains to the DACA issue?
Trump’s comments on DACA have been largely ignored by the Republican party, which has repeatedly sought to position itself as the party of limited immigration, a position that is at odds with many of the conservative, anti-immigrant groups that the GOP has traditionally supported.
Trump has also called for a border wall and has advocated for deportations of undocumented immigrants who commit crimes.
And as the New York Times noted in April, the Republican leader of the House has called for more deportations in order to “secure our border.”
“When we go after criminals, we’ll go after them, and when we go against people that are committing crimes, we’re going to go after that person,” Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said at a March 25 press conference on the border wall.
But in a February 11 tweet, Collins said, “The president’s rhetoric is not helping our cause, and the wall is not going to stop illegal immigration.
We’re going after it.”
The president’s immigration policies are the subject of intense debate within the Republican caucus.
During a March 28 interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump called for immigration enforcement measures to be limited, saying, “We are going to enforce the laws that are in place.”
And at a May 19 press conference, Rep. Trent Franks (R–AZ) said that if the border were to be militarized, then “we will be taking on the Mexican military.
The Mexican military will be our military.”
But at a June 3 press conference with the conservative media outlet Breitbart, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R—WI) said he was opposed to border wall construction and said the GOP would work to “make sure that the wall doesn’t exist.”
“It is something that the Republicans in Congress, and we all agree that border security is a very important part of any immigration system, and I think that we should make sure that there’s a strong border wall that’s very secure,” he added.
But during a June 11 press conference hosted by the conservative news site National Review, Rep, Louie Gohmert (R)—TX—TX—Texas—Texas, called for border wall funding.
“I do believe that the president needs to work with us on immigration.
And I believe that we need to work together,” he told the conservative outlet.
The president has also voiced support for more immigration enforcement, saying in May that he is open to more border enforcement measures and that border walls would be “absolutely necessary.”
In a June 7 interview with the New Yorker, Trump said that the “worst thing you can do for people is to build a wall, because that will be a barrier that’s going to make it very difficult to get into the country.”
But on May 31, when asked about a wall in the context of DACA, Trump reiterated that he wants the wall built.
“We’re building the wall.
We’ve got the infrastructure in place, but the president wants to get a little bit of the wall done.
He wants the border to be secure,” Trump told the magazine.
“The border is a huge problem.
But the wall will be built, and people will be safe, and if you want to build the wall, I will build the border.”
On June 11, a day after Trump reiterated his opposition to a wall and immigration enforcement policies, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)—the House Democratic leader—said that Trump “is right, he should stop talking about a border.
He needs to stop talking.”
But in the midst of the DACA debate, Rep., Jim Jordan (R), who has also been a vocal opponent of Trump’s immigration positions, said that Trump is wrong on the DACA matter.
“When it comes to the border, when it comes back to border security, the president and the Republican leadership are in full support of the border security that we have been putting into place for the past several years,” Jordan told The Hill.
“And we’re the ones who have spent billions of dollars securing our border, and those are the exact same border security measures that have been put in place over the last