Ryan: Trump's comments on immigration `very unfortunate, unhelpful'

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks Friday at a luncheon in downtown Milwaukee

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks Friday at a luncheon in downtown Milwaukee Marti Mikkelson

Ryan added, "Ultimately, I think we should go to a merit-based immigration system".

U.S. lawmakers will resort to passing a short-term federal spending deal next week to avoid an embarrassing government shutdown, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday, January 12, as prospects for a long-term 2018 agreement dimmed. "I don't see us tackling it this year", he said at a WisPolitics Event at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The president reportedly called certain countries, including Haiti, "s-hole" places when discussing immigration issues from those areas. So first thing that came to my mind was very unfortunate, unhelpful, but you know what I thought of right away?

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Lawmakers and the White House have sought to craft a compromise that tightens border security including funding a wall on the border with Mexico and limits other entry programs like the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding young immigrants from deportation. "And I just think it's important that we celebrate that". He said he's confident they will reach a long-term spending agreement at some point, even if he can't say when. And Ryan said he immediately thought about oppression his family had faced.

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, echoed that sentiment, saying he wants a "bipartisan consensus" on entitlement reform. He was not on the same page, however, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who rejected the idea just before Christmas. "The Irish were really looked down upon back in those days", said Ryan. The president said overhauling social safety net programs is "going to have to be bipartisan".

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