President Donald Trump has rejected a bipartisan Senate proposal on immigration reforms, billed as a compromise alternative to resolve a legislative deadlock on the issue.
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced on Monday a Senate companion bill to the Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Will Hurd (R-TX) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA) in the House.
The Bill aims to protect immigrants who entered the US illegally as children (Dreamers) from deportation and provide a pathway to citizenship while implementing new border security measures.
Approval by Trump to The USA Act would have served as a path to resolve two important immigration issues and allowed Congress to devote full attention to finalizing a budget deal that fully funds the military.
But even before the Bill was tabled in the Senate, Trump seemed to reject it on Twitter.
“Any deal on DACA that does not include strong border security and the desperately needed WALL is a total waste of time. March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Dems seem not to care about DACA. Make a deal!” he tweeted.
Trump is offering legal status and a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million illegal immigrants.
But he demands funds for a border wall, wants to end the visa lottery system, and also wants to see an end to the practice of extended family chain migration.
The McCain-Coons bill wouldn’t provide $25 billion Trump wants for building a wall along US-Mexico border.
According to Senator McCain, the legislation, which already has broad support in the House, would address the most urgent priorities of protecting Dreamers, strengthening border security, alleviating the backlog in immigration courts, and addressing the root causes of illegal immigration.
Like the House version, the Senate companion provides a permanent, legislative fix for DACA recipients and calls for smart border security measures to gain operational control of US borders by 2020. It is also a vehicle that will allow Congress to finally vote on long-term appropriations for the military and Department of Homeland Security.