Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is signaling that talks with the White House to tie border security to a fix for some undocumented immigrants have hit a stumbling block.
“Now they haven’t negotiated much since then and [President Trump] got a load of blowback from the right wing. … We’re trying to get those negotiations going again,” Schumer told Pod Save America
, a podcast run by former Obama staffers.
He added he thinks Trump “wants to help the Dreamers, but I also think there’s not many people around him who want to get that done, so it’s slowing us down.”
Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced earlier this month they had stuck a broad deal with Trump to pair tougher border security with a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — though the details still need to be hashed out.
Those talks, Schumer noted during the podcast, were supposed to be overseen by White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as top aides for Kelly, Schumer and Pelosi.
The Trump administration announced that it was ending the DACA program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children temporary protection from deportation, as well as work permits.
But Trump surprised GOP lawmakers — and sparked the ire of conservatives — over his talks with Pelosi and Schumer. Republicans, who say they are broadly sympathetic to DACA recipients, quickly warned they would want to weigh in
on any agreement.
Lawmakers are pitching multiple bills aimed at addressing the group, including legislation introduced this week
by GOP Sens. James Lankford (Okla.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) that they are floating as a conservative alternative to the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act.
Democrats and activists supportive of the DREAM Act, which would set up a path to citizenship for those brought to the country illegally as children, are demanding a stand-alone vote on the legislation — something GOP leadership has repeatedly said will not happen.