With the clock ticking on the reprieve from a government shutdown, President Trump is entering the fray on immigration with his own “legislative framework” for Congress to consider and adopt before the Feb. 8 deadline.
The White House says Trump’s proposal will be released Monday.
In a statement, the White House said: “Last fall, the White House sent Congress a list of the core reforms necessary to fix our immigration system. These reforms were assembled in coordination with frontline law enforcement officers and career public servants who know what is necessary to keep America safe. Since that time, President Donald J. Trump and his administration have hosted dozens of meetings with Republican and Democrat leadership and rank-and-file members of the House and Senate to discuss these reforms and find a bipartisan path forward. Based on these negotiations, the White House will release a legislative framework on Monday that represents a compromise that members of both parties can support.”
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate failed to come to agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the government last week, primarily over the issue of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, leading to a three-day government shutdown. A temporary agreement was made to continue funding the government until Feb. 8, with Republicans pledging to bring a proposal on immigration to a vote by the deadline.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed in negotiations with the president last Friday to funding for a border wall but withdrew the offer following a backlash from Democrats. That drew a tweet from Trump, late Tuesday night:
“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong military, for our great people!”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley also slammed Schumer’s double dealing, saying, “He comes over here with a phony plan and a fake promise,” and calling Schumer’s offer of less than one-tenth the amount needed to secure the border “bogus negotiation.”
“You can’t rescind money you never really offered in the first place,” he said.
In announcing the upcoming release, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday, “This framework will fulfill the four agreed upon pillars” of a deal. “Securing the border, and closing legal loopholes, ending extended-family chain migration, canceling the visa lottery and providing a permanent solution on DACA.”
Asked whether Trump’s framework will include a path to citizenship for Dreamers, Sanders said, “If I told you now it would kind of take away the fun for Monday.”
“We encourage the Senate to bring it to the floor,” she said.
Any compromise bill that passed would require support of the majority of Democrats demanding amnesty for Dreamers and Republicans who refuse to support any measure shielding DACA recipients. Asked if Trump’s framework has a chance of passage in the House, Sanders replied, “We’d certainly like to think so.”
With Trump stating no wall, no DACA, and Schumer’s Democrats’ new redline being zero funding for a wall, the framework appears to face an impasse on arrival.
Sanders also stated on Tuesday the president opposes a bipartisan immigration proposal brokered by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
“In a bipartisan meeting here at the White House two weeks ago we outlined a path forward on four issues: serious border security, an end to chain migration, the cancellation of the outdated and unsafe visa lottery and a permanent solution to DACA,” Sanders said. “Unfortunately, the Flake-Graham-Durbin agreement does not meet these benchmarks.”