Trump: Young immigrant ‘dreamers’ are not deportation targets

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President Donald Trump talks to journalists at the Oval Office of the White House after the AHCA health care bill was pulled before a vote in Washington. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Donald Trump says young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children can “rest easy.” File Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

WASHINGTON (AP) — Young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children can “rest easy,” President Donald Trump said Friday, telling the “dreamers” they will not be targets for deportation under his immigration policies.

Trump, in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, said his administration is “not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals.”

The president, who took a hard line on immigration as a candidate, vowed anew to fulfill his promise to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But he stopped short of demanding that funding for the project be included in a spending bill Congress must pass by the end of next week in order to keep the government running.

“I want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall,” Trump said in the Oval Office interview. Asked whether he would sign legislation that does not include money for the project, he said, “I just don’t know yet.”

Eager to start making progress on other campaign promises, Trump said he would unveil a tax overhaul package next week — “Wednesday or shortly thereafter” — that would include a “massive” tax cut for both individuals and corporations. He would not provide details of rate proposals or how he planned to pay for the package but asserted the cuts for Americans will be “bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever.”

READ MORE: The government says he lost his DACA status, but this immigrant says he was deported despite protections

Trump spoke with the AP ahead of his 100th day in office.

He panned that benchmark as an “artificial” marker. Still, the White House is eager to tout progress on the litany of agenda items Trump promised to fulfill in his first 100 days, despite setbacks including a high-profile failure in repealing and replacing the current health care law.

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