President Trump bashed a bipartisan immigration proposal on Wednesday, raising fresh doubts about Congress’s ability to strike a deal to save protections for young immigrants living illegally in the U.S. 
In an interview with Reuters, Trump called the Senate proposal “horrible” on border security and “very, very weak” on reforms to the legal immigration system. 
“It’s the opposite of what I campaigned for,” Trump said.
Trump is positioning himself with conservatives in the Republican Party who say the bipartisan compromise falls well short of what is needed to fix the nation’s immigration system. 
But the comments could lengthen the impasse in Congress, where lawmakers are scrambling to pass a fix for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump scrapped last year. 
Democrats are demanding that Congress pass protections for recipients of the program, who are allowed to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportations. 
But Trump expressed confidence both sides could work out a deal. 
“Time is running out,” he said.
The DACA program will begin winding down on March 5
The immigration talks reached an abrupt impasse late last week, after Trump made vulgar comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African nations in an Oval Office meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, some of whom had crafted a specific plan.
Trump has denied that he called the nations “shithole countries,” but said the U.S. must not accept high levels of immigration from countries with high crime and poverty rates. 
The bipartisan plan would offer many young immigrants a pathway to citizenship in exchange for billions of dollars in border-security measures and tweaks to the visa system. 
Trump has called for replacing the current family-based system with a merit-based one and demanded an end to the diversity visa lottery, which allows people from countries with low immigration rates to apply to U.S. visas. He also wants money for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 
Those items are contained in a GOP measure co-authored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), an immigration hard-liner. 
The president’s comments have caused whiplash on Capitol Hill.
Just days earlier, he hosted Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House for an extraordinarily public negotiating session where he said he would sign virtually any immigration bill they put on his desk. 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he would not put an immigration bill on the floor for a vote until Trump declares what proposal he supports. 
“I’m looking for something President Trump supports, and he’s not yet indicated what measure he’s willing to sign. As soon as we figure out what he is for then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels,” he told reporters. 

The immigration talks had been tied to negotiations over a government funding bill, but House Republicans leaders released a stopgap spending measure that separates the two issues. 

The White House on Wednesday announced it supports the short-term bill. 
Trump said a government shutdown “could happen” by Friday, when government funding runs out. He reiterated he will blame Democrats if the government shuts down.
Tags Bob Goodlatte deferred action for childhood arrivals Diversity Immigrant Visa Donald Trump Donald Trump Government shutdown Immigration Immigration policy of Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Shutdown

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