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Amritsar, NFAPost: US President Donald Trump is working on a new executive order to establish a merit-based immigration system, the White House has said.

The statement by the White House comes immediately after Trump’s interview with Telemundo New channel, wherein he said he was working on an executive order on immigration that will include a “road to citizenship” for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The DACA program began in 2012 under the then-president Barack Obama and has since allowed around 700,000 people brought without papers to the US as children to live, work, and study without danger of being deported.

Earlier in 2017 Trump had tried to cancel the program, but the Supreme Court ruled last week that the administration had acted with weak legal justification and it has let DACA stand for now.

The SC has, however, put the onus back on the administration if it wants to pursue the issue by suggesting that there are legal administrative methods that the US President could use to cancel DACA.

Trump’s comment in the interview came in the wake of this ruling.

“Based on the powers that they (SC) gave, I’m going to be doing an immigration bill. One of the aspects of the bill that you will be very happy with, and that a lot of people will be, including me and a lot of Republicans, by the way, will be the DACA. It will give them a road to citizenship,” Trump said.

In the television interview, the US President said that his action on the DACA will be part of a much bigger bill on immigration.

“It’s going to be a very big bill, a very good bill, and a merit-based bill and it will include DACA, and I think people are going to be very happy,” Trump said.

Trump’s announcement drew sharp criticisms with Senator Ted Cruz describing the move as a mistake. 

The White House in its statement said “As the president announced today, he is working on an executive order to establish a merit-based immigration system to further protect US workers.”

“Furthermore, the president has long said he is willing to work with the Congress on a negotiated legislative solution to DACA, one that could include citizenship, along with strong border security and permanent merit-based reforms,” the White House said.

“This does not include amnesty. Unfortunately, Democrats have continually refused these offers as they are opposed to anything other than totally open borders,” it added.

Trump in the interview said that he had a deal with the Democrats and could have taken care of DACA two year ago, but the Democrats broke the deal without any reason.

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