Democrats left a dinner last month with President Donald Trump enthusiastically touting a deal for “Dreamers”. Republicans who dined at the White House on Monday say Democrats may want to check the fine print.
Influential GOP lawmakers say Trump laid out a much more expansive and rigid set of demands Trump wants from Congress in any agreement to turn the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program into law.
One new requirement, according to one senator who attended: Congress needs to pass a bill that addresses solely the current population of DACA recipients, rather than a broader circle of young undocumented immigrants.
“The president was very clear. Any effort to codify DACA needs to, one, be limited to DACA so the first criteria under the law should be you have a DACA permit today,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in an interview Tuesday. “Second, any deal has to end chain migration. And then third, it ought to include some kind of enhanced measures, whether it’s on the border or interior enforcement or what have you.”
Trump’s latest wish list is a far cry from the basic border-security-for-Dream-Act exchange that he laid out to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) during their own dinner last month.
And it could spell trouble for the prospects of reaching an immigration deal with Democrats, whose votes will be needed to pass any Dreamer bills but will be reluctant to swallow any dramatic enforcement measures or other restrictive provisions.