House Republicans are planning a new immigration bill that would allow illegal immigrant children to remain in detention centers with their parents for more than 20 days, correcting an issue in the executive order President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday.
The current order requires children to be released from detention after 20 days, ABC News reported Saturday.
"We've always said there needs to be a legislative fix," said White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short.
"I don't think we're going to talk about hypotheticals until we see that the Democrats won't partner with us to solve a bigger problem," he told ABC.
Two administration officials said President Trump would likely sign the newer legislation, considered narrower than the compromise bill that was delayed Thursday, if the detention issue was addressed.
The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on the compromise legislation, which would include a path to citizenship for "Dreamers" brought to this country illegally as children and include $25 billion for a wall on the southern border.
It also would require immigrant children to be kept with their parents pending deportation decisions.
However, that bill is expected to fail — and sources told ABC that the narrower legislation would then be addressed.
On Thursday, the Trump administration filed a motion in a federal court in California to end a 1997 ruling that limits the government's ability to detain immigrant children.
Known as the "Flores settlement," the court decision requires the federal government to place children with a close relative or family friend "without unnecessary delay" and to keep migrant children in custody in the "least restrictive conditions" possible.
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