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 TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE would not sign the measure, written by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (R-S.C.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement Pentagon watchdog declines to investigate hold on Ukraine aid 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 FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 McConnellLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Impeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill 'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera MORE (R-Ky.) has pledged to hold an open debate on immigration if a deal is not reached before that deadline.