© Greg Nash
Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGOP blocks bill to expand gun background checks after Michigan school shooting GOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (R-Iowa) said on Tuesday that a legislative fix for a key Obama-era immigration plan doesn't need to include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, despite demands from some conservatives.
"Any potential deal on DACA has to include robust border security, and by that I don’t mean a wall," Grassley said during a Judiciary Committee hearing on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
He added that a potential deal pairing a DACA fix with border security could instead include "tactical infrastructure," as well as stricter interior enforcement and the e-verify program, which allows an employer to check if an individual is able to work legally in the United States.
Grassley has previously acknowledged that any Senate deal would likely not include a border wall. But his comments on Tuesday took on new weight as Republicans struggle to reach a consensus on how to pass a legislative fix for undocumented immigrations brought into the country as children.
The House Homeland Security Committee is expected to take up legislation on Thursday that would provide $10 billion aimed at securing the U.S.-Mexico border, including funding for new wall and fencing construction, border defense technology and aerial surveillance like drones.
But the administration has signaled that it is willing to separate the U.S.-Mexico border wall from the DACA discussions.
That concession infuriated conservatives, who argue Trump is breaking his campaign promise to take a hard line on immigration, including building the wall and deporting roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Any deal will need the support of Senate Democrats to clear Congress. Democrats have warned that they view wall funding or other enforcement, including targeting cities that don't comply with federal immigration laws, as unacceptable for a potential agreement.
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE announced earlier this year that the Trump administration would wind down the Obama immigration program, which temporarily shields its nearly 800,000 recipients from deportation and allows them to work legally. DACA recipients have until Oct. 5 to renew their status.