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White House: DACA is not amnesty
The White House argued Friday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is not "amnesty," pushing back against some concerns that President Trump's willingness to make a deal contradicts conservative values.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Friday that the president is continuing to work on a deal that would include both the DACA program and "massive border security."
She added that the program, which delays deportations for certain undocumented immigrants, by definition does not last forever - meaning that the White House isn't supporting a path to citizenship for those in America illegally."
"The whole definition says deferred, so that takes away the idea of the permanent piece when the idea of DACA, the definition of it, is it's deferred action, meaning it's not a permanent process," she said.
Sanders went on to add that the White House will lay out its priorities and principles over the next week to 10 days.
"Right now, our goal, our focus, is making sure that program gets taken care of, also coupling that with massive border security, interior enforcement," she said.
"Some of the specific things we'd like to see: The end to sanctuary cities, expedited removal, more immigration judges, supporting things like the RAISE Act. Those are the things that you'll see us focus on in the coming days," she continued.
The RAISE Act is the immigration plan Trump backed last month that would slash legal immigration and overhaul the visa system.
Trump has frustrated conservatives by signaling support for a deal to codify the Obama-era DACA program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought to America as minors to apply for temporary legal status and work permits.
He announced earlier this month that he would end the program in six months but called on Congress to cut a deal to preserve it along with increased border security and other immigration priorities.