Trump calls bipartisan immigration deal a 'catastrophe'

Trump calls bipartisan immigration deal a 'catastrophe'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE on Thursday called a bipartisan Senate proposal on immigration a "catastrophe" that would undermine law enforcement and grant amnesty to "dangerous criminals."

The deal, supported by a group of centrist lawmakers, would protect "Dreamers" – young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children – in exchange for roughly $25 billion for border security. 

Trump criticized the bill in a series of tweets Thursday afternoon, calling it a "vote against law enforcement."

"The Schumer-Rounds-Collins immigration bill would be a total catastrophe. @DHSgov says it would be 'the end of immigration enforcement in America,'" Trump tweeted, referred to Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (D-N.Y.), Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsGOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Mulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation GOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border MORE (R-S.D.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (R-Maine), the bill's sponsors. "It creates a giant amnesty (including for dangerous criminals), doesn’t build the wall, expands chain migration, keeps the visa lottery, continues deadly catch-and-release, and bars enforcement even for FUTURE illegal immigrants."

"Voting for this amendment would be a vote AGAINST law enforcement, and a vote FOR open borders. If Dems are actually serious about DACA, they should support the Grassley bill!" 

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Trump's tweet threw into further doubt the future of the bipartisan deal, introduced in the Senate late Wednesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Thursday that Trump would veto the bipartisan Senate deal if it were sent to his desk for signing.

Trump's comments Thursday signal a shift from his past claim in January that he would sign whatever piece of immigration legislation Congress would send to his desk.

"I'm not going to say, 'Oh gee I want this or I want that,'" Trump told lawmakers at the time. "I will be signing it."

The White House has pushed for a much broader plan to overhaul the country's immigration system that would seek to curb legal immigration and provide funding for the construction of Trump's long-promised border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Part of that proposal hinges on curbing family-based immigration and ending the diversity lottery program, which provides visas to certain people from countries with historically low levels of immigration to the U.S. 

Trump has insisted that lawmakers pursue a system of merit-based immigration that would prioritize entry to foreigners with skills deemed beneficial to the U.S. 

Democrats, however, have said that the White House's proposal, which is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), is a non-starter.