The Latest: Trump blasts 'stupidity' of US immigration laws

In this Jan. 30, 2018 photo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly applauds President Donald Trump at his first State of the Union address, at the Capitol in Washington. Kelly has told a small group of reporters, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 at the Capitol that "Dreamers" would not be a priority for deportation, even if their Obama-era protections expire and a deadlocked Congress hasn't completed a deal to protect them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on efforts to reach a bipartisan deal on immigration (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the "stupidity" of the nation's immigration laws is allowing violent gangs like MS-13 to flourish in the U.S.

Trump says thousands of gang members are arrested and deported but that some come back. He says the situation won't improve until the U.S. changes its immigration laws.

Trump said: "Not another country in the world has the stupidity of laws that we do."

The president commented Tuesday as he welcomed law enforcement officials and lawmakers to the White House to discuss the threat from MS-13, which has become a prime target of the administration. Both Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have traveled to Long Island, New York, to speak out against the gang.

Trump also highlighted the issue in his State of the Union address last week.

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2:45 p.m.

White House chief of staff John Kelly says some immigrants may have been "too afraid" or "too lazy" to sign up for the Obama-era program that offered protection from deportation.

Kelly is defending President Donald Trump's proposal aimed at breaking the impasse on immigration.

Trump's plan would provide a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million people — more than Democrats had sought. Kelly says extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was "beyond what anyone could have imagined."

Kelly spoke Tuesday as lawmakers have deadlocked in an effort to reach a bipartisan deal on protecting from deportation recipients of the program, known as "Dreamers."

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