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Trump throws wrench in GOP immigration push, says Republicans are "wasting their time"

Last Updated Jun 22, 2018 1:31 PM EDT

President Trump threw a wrench in Republicans' efforts to pass sweeping immigration legislation soon. He tweeted Friday that Republicans should "stop wasting their time" on immigration and wait until after November's midterm elections to pass anything.

House Republicans on Thursday delayed a vote on their compromise immigration bill until next week. They had hoped to pass legislation that would not only fund border security, but provide legislative solutions to Mr. Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to family separations at the border.

As CBS News' Paula Reid has reported, Mr. Trump's executive order to halt the separation of children from their parents at the southern border is a temporary fix — it effectively only prevents family separations for 20 days. The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to remove a 20-day legal limit on detaining families together. 

Early Friday, however, the president seemed to suggest he has no confidence in Republicans' ability to pass legislation ahead of the midterms, claiming Democrats are obstructing and Republicans need more members in both the House and Senate. But Republicans are expected to lose seats in November, and some fear they might lose control of the House.

"Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!" the president tweeted. 

Moments before that, Mr. Trump tweeted, "Even if we get 100% Republican votes in the Senate, we need 10 Democrat votes to get a much needed Immigration Bill - & the Dems are Obstructionists who won't give votes for political reasons & because they don't care about Crime coming from Border! So we need to elect more R's!"

Asked on CNN what Mr. Trump's Friday morning tweets mean for the GOP immigration push, Rep. Mark Sanford, R-South Carolina, gave a simple response — "Game over."

Immigration is a fraught issue for Republicans, with some members in competitive districts this November looking for more moderate legislation, while others look to appease the hardline stance taken by many of Mr. Trump's most ardent supporters.

House Republicans met Thursday afternoon to hash out the details of the compromise bill after some conservative members had lingering questions and concerns. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.