Fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine rise despite US push for diplomacy
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 Trump would not sign the measure, written by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (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.
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 Flake (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 McConnell (R-Ky.) has pledged to hold an open debate on immigration if a deal is not reached before that deadline.