White House aide shoots down smaller immigration deal

White House aide shoots down smaller immigration deal
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A top White House aide said Monday that the administration isn't open to narrowing down an immigration deal — an idea being floated by a key group of bipartisan senators. 

"No, we really think we've narrowed it down, we really do," White House legislative director Marc Short said, after being asked if the White House is open to a smaller agreement that would pair enhanced border security measures with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) fix. 

Short added that the White House felt it had offered a "pretty strong compromise" with its immigration framework released late last week. 

The White House released the outline of its proposal on Thursday. It included a pathway to citizenship for roughly 1.8 million immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. That's in exchange for tens of billions of dollars for the wall on the Mexican border and other provisions aimed at limiting legal immigration. 

Short added the without changes to immigration laws, Congress would be creating a "magnet that just creates more pressure" on border security officials. 

Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed during a televised meeting earlier this month to limit any immigration deal to four pillars: a DACA fix, border security, changes to family-based immigration and the elimination of the State Department's diversity visa lottery.

But a growing number of senators are pitching an agreement that would include a fix for DACA recipients with border security. That idea, discussed during a closed-door meeting late last week, would not include a path to citizenship or changes to which family members citizens and legal residents can sponsor. 

Asked on Monday if changes to "chain migration" and the visa lottery needed to be included in any agreement, Short said: "Absolutely."

Short's comments come after he, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTop Senate Dem: Trump administration's lack of focus on election security an 'embarrassment' DHS secretary: No sign Russia targeting midterm elections at 2016 level Mexico's president presses Pompeo on reuniting migrant families MORE met with Sens. John CornynJohn CornynRussians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit Top GOP senator: Trump should be 'clear-eyed' going into meeting with Putin Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (R-Texas) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Kavanaugh paper chase heats up Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one MORE (D-Ill.) and Reps. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Elon Musk donated nearly K to Republican PAC, filings show Eric Holder: Calls to abolish ICE are 'a gift to Republicans' MORE (R-Calif.) and Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi wants party leadership elections post-Thanksgiving The Hill's Morning Report — Trump denigrates NATO allies, floats 4 percent solution Dems struggle with unity amid leadership tensions MORE (D-Md.).

McCarthy, after the meeting, said there was no discussion of doing a temporary one year DACA fix.

Cornyn added that he expected a final agreement to include all of the four pillars. 

"The president said there are four pillars, and I think we're going to have to come up with a solution that addresses all four," he said.

The Trump administration announced last year that it was ending DACA. Congress has until March 5 to reach a deal.