GOP senators back Trump's immigration proposal

GOP senators back Trump's immigration proposal
© Greg Nash

Republican senators are coming out in support of the White House framework for immigration reform released Thursday.

A number of GOP senators released statements Thursday supporting the president's call for increased border security and a path for citizenship for nearly 2 million immigrants in the country illegally.

The White House announced Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE would support a 10-12 year path to citizenship for the country's 1.8 million immigrants who were protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or were eligible for such protection. In addition, Trump wants $25 billion for a "border wall system" that could include fencing or other security measures on the border.

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In response, several GOP senators quickly released statements praising Trump's proposed framework, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight MORE (R-Ky.).

"I want to thank President Trump and his administration for their work on this important issue. This framework builds upon the four pillars for reform that the president has consistently put forth, and indicates what is necessary for the president to sign a bill into law," McConnell said in his statement.

Similarly, immigration hawk Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate rejects border declaration in major rebuke of Trump Hillicon Valley: Doctors press tech to crack down on anti-vax content | Facebook, Instagram suffer widespread outages | Spotify hits Apple with antitrust complaint | FCC rejects calls to delay 5G auction Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court MORE (R-Ark.) praised the president's plan as "generous and humane" and Georgia Sen. David Perdue (R) called it "a good deal."

North Carolina Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R) called the president's plan "realistic" and called on Congress to get it done.

"Congress needs to get this done for the good of our nation," he wrote.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Drug prices are a matter of life and death Senate panel to hear from pharmacy middlemen on drug prices MORE (R-Iowa), who chairs the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, said Trump's plan accomplished both law enforcement and humanitarian goals.

"We all agree that Congress needs to act to address those who were brought here illegally through no fault of their own, but we also must make sure that other young people don’t find themselves in the same legal limbo in the future," he said. "President Trump’s framework accomplishes these goals and gives federal law enforcement the crucial authorities needed to target criminals."

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks GOP senators eye 'nuclear' move to change rules on Trump nominees Senate GOP goes down to wire in showdown with Trump MORE (R-Okla.) said the White House's decision would provide "certainty" to families affected by the Trump administration's decision to end the DACA program last year.

“I applaud the White House for offering a solid framework for immigration reform that provides a responsible solution for DACA, border security, and other immigration issues," Lankford said. "This framework provides certainty for families, enacts common-sense reforms to nuclear family sponsorship policy, and protects our nation."

Not all GOP senators were on board with the proposal to extend a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, including immigration hard-liner Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary The Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge Michael Bennet 'encouraged' in possible presidential bid: report MORE (R).

“I do not believe we should be granting a path to citizenship to anybody here illegally,” Cruz told reporters, according to Bloomberg. “Doing so is inconsistent with the promises we made to the men and women who elected us.”