The Congressional Hispanic Caucus yesterday asked for a meeting with President Carter before he decides on the final form of his amnesty program for illegal aliens, expected around mid-July.
Stuart Eizenstat, Carter's chief domestic policy adviser, spent much of the day on Capitol Hill getting congressional reaction to several alternatives, including simply doing nothing.
That option "is not satisfactory to any members of the caucus," said Rep. Edward R. Royball (D-Calif.). A second, even less acceptable option. Roybal said, is creating a new, nondeportable status under which illegal aliens would be allowed to reamain and work, but could not become citizens or bring in members of their families.
One source close to the President said a two-tier approach, combining nondeportable status for recent illegal arrivals with a third options, amnesty, for those who have been in the country illegally a longer time, is still a possible choice.
Eizenstat did not present that option during an hour-long meeting with the Hispanic Causus, Roybal said. It was learned, however, that he did bring it up in another congressional meeting.
Sources indicated that Carter will not make a final decision until he gets another set of recommendations from various agencies and White House staff members involved.
"It is obvious there is no ideal solution," said White House press secretary Jody Powell.
At his regular Tuesday morning meeting with congressional leaders yesterday, the President said he doubts he can avoid a veto in this session of Congress, and he later expressed "strong concern" about Senate attempts to add $880 million to the Labor-HEW appropriations bill.
"He said he hoped he didn't have to veto anything this session, but he doubted" he would be able to avoid it, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) said after the meeting.
The Senate appropriations Committee voted the increased funding Monday although its version is still, less than the $61.3 billion approved by the House. Carter has agreed not to veto the House-passed bill.
House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) said Carter also made it clear with the Clinch River nuclear breeder reactor "bill will be vetoed."
Several participants in the meeting said Carter asked congressional leaders to help ward off amendments to foreign aid legislation that would close off foreign policy options.
Rep. John Brademas (D-III.), House Democratic whip, said Carter mentioned Somalia, Iraq and China as areas where he was particulary concerned about Soviet influence.
O'Neill said Carter argued that the United States must have enough options to contest Soviet domination of various area.
Powell also said Carter is looking forward to talks with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in Washington July 19 and 20.