President Trump indicated to senators Thursday he might be "open" to considering the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said. The bill, unveiled in 2013 by an eight-member bipartisan group of senators, would have created a path for undocumented immigrants to gain legal citizenship in the U.S. Though the legislation passed through the Senate, it died after stalling in the House.
Trump's primary opposition to the bill is that it seemed to offer amnesty, though Manchin apparently tried to convince Trump on Thursday that the Gang of Eight Bill didn't "sound like amnesty" to him. Trump reportedly said he knew what amnesty was, but that he would take a look at it.
However, Trump has previously slammed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the leading members of the Gang of Eight, for his involvement in the reform effort:
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Though Trump has taken a hardline stance on undocumented immigration, at times in the Republican presidential primary he seemed to drift closer to the Gang of Eight's stance. At one point, Trump said he was opposed to amnesty, but would "work with" undocumented immigrants. At another point, however, he said there "is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back."
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer clarified later Thursday that Trump does not support the Gang of Eight bill, but was "glad to listen" to senators' thoughts on immigration and encouraged future cooperation.
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