With little evidence of momentum in Congress to negotiate an immigration deal in coming days, the White House announced that President Donald Trump will next Monday issue his own outline of what he wants in any agreement dealing with border security, immigration enforcement and illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”
“The President wants to lead on this issue, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“There’s nothing currently on the table that addresses all the concerns,” Sanders said, a day after saying a bipartisan Senate plan would be “dead on arrival” at the White House.
“We encourage the Senate to bring it to the floor,” Sanders said of the new Trump plan to be laid out on Monday.
As for specifics, Sanders was asked how illegal immigrant Dreamers would be handled – she gave no hints to reporters.
“Well, if I told you know, it would kind of take away the fun for Monday,” said Sanders, who refused to go into detail.
On Tuesday, Sanders set out four different pillars of what the President wants in any deal, which included ‘serious’ border security, an end to the diversity visa lottery program, an end to chain migration, and then a permanent solution for the DACA program.
Late on Tuesday night, the President reiterated on Twitter that he wants money for a border wall as part of any immigration deal.
The move by the President to release his own immigration plan runs counter to what he told lawmakers two weeks ago at a White House meeting, as Mr. Trump said he would basically sign whatever the Congress came up with on immigration and immigration reform.
“I will take all the heat you want to give me,” the President said. Two days later, he rejected a bipartisan compromise put together by six U.S. Senators.
Now, the President wants to Senate to accept his plan.
“The White House will release a legislative framework on Monday that represents a compromise that members of both parties can support,” Sanders told reporters.
“We encourage the Senate to bring it to the floor.”
The timing of the details is also notable, because President Trump will be addressing Congress the next day – on Tuesday – in his first State of the Union Address.