(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump promised a bipartisan group of House members that he’ll seek a vote in Congress soon on protecting young undocumented immigrants from being deported, Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar said.
"He did say, ‘We need to move on this quickly; I don’t want to wait six months, people forget about it in six months,’" Cuellar of Texas said after Trump met Wednesday at the White House with about a dozen lawmakers who call themselves the problem solvers.
Cuellar said the president wants to put in law the Obama-era program shielding immigrants illegally brought to the U.S. as children, and combine it with increased security along the U.S.-Mexico border and elements of a separate proposal giving immigration priority to high-skilled workers. Trump also stressed the need for low-skilled workers in the agricultural industry, Cuellar said.
Trump said his demand for money for a border wall would be addressed separately, the lawmaker said.
Last week, Trump said he would cancel the young-immigrants program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in six months and called on Congress to act on the issue in the meantime. The young migrants are known as "dreamers" after the proposed Dream Act that would give them legal status.
Third-ranking Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota said earlier Wednesday a bill is possible this year pairing the young immigrants measure with stronger border security.
“If it’s combined with border security, that’s possible,” Thune said. “Republicans who are inclined to be supportive of some sort of permanent DACA would have to have some border security.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and his House counterpart, Nancy Pelosi of California, are scheduled to have dinner with Trump Wednesday night to discuss issues with a focus on taxes. Last week, the president shocked his fellow Republicans by accepting the Democrats’ offer to raise the debt limit and keep the government open through Dec. 8 while providing hurricane aid. The bill was enacted by the end of the week.
"It looks like the White House has a new strategy" to be bipartisan, Cuellar said.