A White House immigration framework set to be introduced next week includes a path to citizenship for roughtly 1.8 million younger illegal immigrants, a top administration official said Thursday.
Trump ended the DACA program in September, setting a March 5 deadline for Congress to provide legal protections or the program's recipients would once again be subject to deportation. Certainly border security is important; certainly decades of lax enforcement of laws doesn't legitimize its breach (though this question presented in the light of marijuana use, speeding tickets, or sexual ethics presents very different "rule of law" answers to be sure - one standard really doesn't seem to apply).
Democrats are demanding that Republicans approve an immigration agreement that would provide a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, but the President is demanding that in exchange for that funds be allocated to build the border wall. Richard J. Durbin of IL, a senior Democrat, offered Mr. Trump a deal that would have granted millions of Dreamers a full pathway to citizenship in exchange for less than 10 percent of his border wall.
The reporters had gathered for a briefing from a senior official detailing the administration's plans to stick to a restrictive immigration agenda when the president dropped in unprompted, shortly before departing for Davos, Switzerland, pre-empting the official.
"This framework will fulfill the four agreed-upon pillars: securing the border and closing legal loopholes; ending extended-family chain migration; cancelling the visa lottery, and providing a permanent solution on DACA", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
The White House's portrayal of the framework as a broad-based compromise is likely to face skepticism on Capitol Hill, where immigration reform has always been contentiously disputed.
"President Trump's support for a pathway to citizenship will help us get strong border security measures as we work to modernize a broken immigration system", Graham said in a statement.
"We are going to morph into it", Trump told reporters about the citizenship provision.
She says the White House will encourage the Senate to bring the proposal "to the floor".
But he also once said that he wanted "a bill of love" to address the fate of the DACA recipients.
"We can not let those who are anti-immigrant, who call giving the DREAMers hope 'amnesty, ' block us".
As the Trump administration struggled in recent days to produce an on-message stance on immigration, Trump has kept largely out of sight, as his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, coordinated with Republican leaders while they worked with Democrats to reopen the government after a three-day shutdown.
Hours earlier, Mr. Trump had taken to Twitter to blast Mr. Schumer.
The move comes after members of Congress on both sides have criticized the president for not being clear about what he wants in an immigration deal.
Republican senator Lindsey Graham applauded the president's comments and called them a major breakthrough.
The most positive notes came from members of both parties who have been trying to broker an immigration deal.
The White House has flatly dismissed an effort by a bipartisan group of a half-dozen senators to reconcile competing immigration proposals, calling it "dead on arrival" because it doesn't go far enough.
The President has previously rejected bipartisan proposals to continue DACA, leading to the January 19 standoff between Senate Republicans and Democrats that resulted in a three-day government shutdown.