Schumer: Trump 'the only person' blocking immigration deal
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerKrystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.Y.) urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE to support an immigration deal hashed out by six senators, saying he is the only person standing in the way of an agreement. 

"A very fair, bipartisan deal remains on the table. It’s the only game in town. ... If it was put on the floor of the House or the Senate, I predict it would get a majority vote in either one," Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

"The only person blocking it is President Trump," he added.


A bipartisan group of six senators are expected to unveil their immigration bill on Wednesday. 

The legislation would tie a path to citizenship for some immigrants with roughly $2.7 billion in border security funding. It's also expected to eliminate the State Department's Diversity Visa Lottery and reallocate a portion of those visas to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and make narrow changes to family-based immigration.  

But that bill appears to face an uphill path after Trump rejected it in a White House meeting late last week, where he reportedly questioned why the U.S. has to take so many immigrants from "shithole countries" like Haiti. 

Schumer knocked Trump for the remarks, which the president has denied making, decrying the language as "foul and vulgar."  

"His well-reported comments were certainly unbefitting the presidency of the United States. They were beneath the dignity of the office. They went against the very idea of America — which holds up as an unassailable truth that all men are created equal, no matter their station or country of origin," Schumer added. 

The fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has grown increasingly heated following Trump's comments, with both sides digging in on their demands.


Schumer on Tuesday said Trump should support the Senate deal to prove that he's not "prejudiced or biased." 

"President Trump needs to step up. He can’t just bluster. He can’t just play the game of brinksmanship. He can’t just be obstinate and say ‘my way or the highway.’ He needs to be willing to take 'yes' for an answer," he said. 

The fallout from Thursday's comments marked a stark contrast to a Tuesday meeting at the White House, where Trump signaled he would sign whatever immigration bill Congress sent him. 

Democrats want a DACA deal passed as part of any short-term government funding bill, which needs to pass by the end of Friday in order to prevent a shutdown. 

But GOP leadership has said they will not link the two issues, noting Congress has until March to come up with a DACA fix. 

"With no imminent deadline on immigration and with bipartisan talks well under way, there's no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issue of illegal immigration," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said from the floor.