Ivanka Trump on Monday called for a longterm Congressional fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Donald Trump decided to end in September.
“I personally am of the opinion—the president has stated this—that we have to figure out a good solution that protects these innocent people, many of whom were brought to this country as children,” the first daughter and presidential advisor said at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit, referencing the 800,000 so-called Dreamers who arrived in the U.S. as children and were shielded from deportation under the Obama-era program.
The problem, she said, “cannot be bandaged over at the presidential level through another executive order that can be rescinded by a subsequent administration.”
Trump appeared on a panel about the future of work alongside Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson.
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In responding to a question about how the Dreamers fit into the United States’ future workforce, Trump also called for comprehensive immigration reform. “I think that is the right approach because our system is flawed, and it is not equipped to handle the challenges,” she said. “[O]ur visa program is deeply flawed—we’re not retaining the best talent for the jobs that we need and that has to fundamentally be reconsidered.”
Her comments about DACA largely echo what President Trump has said about the program. In deciding to end it in September, he put DACA on track to be phased out in six months and has urged Congress to pass a replacement before that deadline.
But that request got more complicated on Sunday when the president submitted a list of demands to Congress that he wants fulfilled as part of a deal to keep the 800,000 Dreamers in the country. The White House wants funding for a border wall, additional immigration enforcement personnel, and a crackdown on unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S., mainly from Central American countries.
In a statement, Democratic leaders Representative Nancy Pelosi (D–Cali.) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.), rebuked the list as “anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans.”
DACA’s expiration, currently set for March, would make the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers eligible for deportation.