Republican leaders met with President Trump earlier this week and said the president now wants a much more expansive list of provisions in any deal to turn the expired Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program into law.
Several weeks ago, Trump met with Democratic leaders and essentially agreed to support codifying DACA if lawmakers added some provisions that bolster U.S.-Mexico border security. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said this week that Trump agrees with Republicans that funding for a border wall should be part of any legislative package on DACA. And Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told reporters that Trump also instructed Republicans to put together a bill that only addresses the current population of DACA recipients, rather than a broader group of undocumented immigrants.
“The president was very clear,” Cotton said. “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. 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.”
Senate Democrats have said they are willing to negotiate on border security in any DACA fix but that funding the wall is not on the table.
“If the president is changing his view, he should tell us,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “I’ve talked to the president, I’ve talked to General Kelly, about continuing on the path that we all agreed to indisputably. If they want to continue on that path, great. If they want to back off, let them tell us.”
Separately, the House Homeland Security Committee yesterday approved a border security bill that includes $10 billion for a border wall. The legislation will head to the House floor but is unlikely to clear the Senate where it would need 60 votes to pass.