President Trump on Saturday argued Democrats are “doing nothing” toward crafting federal legislation that would permanently protect nearly 800,000 young illegal immigrants, as the White House and congressional leader grapple over a solution ahead of a deadline next week.
The president and Congress are attempting to reach a deal as part of a federal spending bill that congressional leaders must pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.
Trump held a televised meeting earlier this week at the White House with congressional Democrats and Republicans on comprehensive immigration reform — which would almost certainly include protection for young illegal immigrants, known as DREAMers, in exchange for Trump’s U.S.- Mexico border wall and the elimination of so-called “chain migration.”
A bipartisan group of senators later submitted a plan to the White House that seemed agreeable to Trump — considering it reportedly included $1.6 billion for his border wall.
However, the White House by Thursday essentially rejected the deal, arguing it didn’t go far enough to curtail so-called “chain migration,” which allows green card holders and U.S. citizens to petition to bring family members into the United States.
“We want changes to chain migration, and not to a very small percentage of the population and how it affects chain migration,” said Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director. “We want chain migration fixed for the immigration system.”