WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will propose his own framework for an immigration bill on Monday, which will include a wall and a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers brought to the United States illegally as children.
Trump confirmed that his plan included that pathway to citizenship, even though his party’s hard-liners oppose it, in an impromptu meeting with reporters on Wednesday night. “We’re going to morph into it. It’s going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years,” he said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier announced Trump’s initiative as about three dozen senators divided among both parties planned to meet to “get people thinking about a framework that might actually work,” according to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
“After decades of inaction by Congress, it’s time we work together to solve this issue once and for all,” Huckabee Sanders said at the daily White House briefing. “The president wants to lead on this issue and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Trump’s insertion into the thorny issue of immigration comes after he was largely absent during the government shutdown over the weekend, prompted by Democrats’ demand that the Dreamers be addressed while Republicans stoutly, and successfully, refused.
Huckabee Sanders said the framework will include Trump’s four core principles: “Securing the border and closing legal loopholes, ending extended family chain migration, canceling the visa lottery and promoting a permanent solution on DACA.”
Trump last September set a March 5 expiration of DACA, the program President Barack Obama created that allows about 690,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children to work and stay in the country.
Based on negotiations with both sides, Huckabee Sanders said “the White House will release a legislative framework on Monday that represents a compromise that members of both parties can support. We encourage the Senate to bring it to the floor.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has blamed the shutdown over immigration on Trump’s shifting his position from yes to no on an outline of a deal between the two of them that Schumer said included a fix for the Dreamers and $25 billion for a wall.
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week complained, “I’m looking for something that President Trump supports. And he’s not yet indicated what measure he’s willing to sign.”