White House: Graham-Durbin immigration bill 'dead on arrival'

The White House on Tuesday hardened its position against a bipartisan proposal in the Senate that would shield young immigrants living in the U.S. from deportation.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave her strongest indication yet that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE would not sign the measure, written by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Overnight Defense: Graham clashed with Pentagon chief over Syria | Talk grows that Trump will fire Coats | Coast Guard officer accused of domestic terrorism plot Graham cursed at acting DOD chief, declaring himself his 'adversary' MORE (R-S.C.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin: Trump pressuring acting AG in Cohen probe is 'no surprise' Durbin after reading Green New Deal: 'What in the heck is this?' Sanders: 'Not crazy' about nixing the Senate filibuster MORE (D-Ill.), if it reaches his desk. 

“It’s totally unacceptable to the president and should be declared dead on arrival,” she told reporters. 

President Trump previously dismissed the proposal in profane fashion when it was first presented to him in the Oval Office, remarks that helped lead to a government shutdown.

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The White House has reiterated its opposition to the measure, and officials say they are escalating criticism to kill it as immigration talks resume. 

On Sunday, during the government shutdown, a White House spokesman called the plan "a giant step in the wrong direction" in a statement to The Hill.

“The Flake-Graham-Durbin proposal embodies every reason Americans do not trust Washington. It puts people who are in this country unlawfully ahead of our own American citizens,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement to The Hill, also referring to another sponsor, Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Ariz.)

Sanders said it did not meet the White House's demands that an immigration bill strengthen border security, dramatically reduce family reunification in immigration and end the visa lottery. 

 

Lawmakers are trying to work out an agreement before a Feb. 8 spending deadline. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFox News has covered Ocasio-Cortez more than any 2020 Dem besides Warren: analysis Durbin after reading Green New Deal: 'What in the heck is this?' Dems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle MORE (R-Ky.) has pledged to hold an open debate on immigration if a deal is not reached before that deadline.