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 TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally 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 McConnellOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Senators reach .5B deal on Trump's emergency border request Senators reach .5B deal on Trump's emergency border request 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 CottonOvernight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Iran announces it will exceed uranium stockpile restraints of nuclear deal 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 TillisKoch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner Koch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments 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 GrassleyOn The Money: Trade chief defends Trump tariffs before skeptical Congress | Kudlow denies plan to demote Fed chief | Waters asks Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project On The Money: Trade chief defends Trump tariffs before skeptical Congress | Kudlow denies plan to demote Fed chief | Waters asks Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project Trade chief defends Trump tariffs before skeptical Congress 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 LankfordHillicon Valley: Facebook unveils new cryptocurrency | Waters wants company to halt plans | Democrats look to force votes on election security | Advertisers partner with tech giants on 'digital safety' | House GOP unveils cyber agenda Democrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills Democrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills 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 CruzGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias GOP lawmaker delays House for second week GOP lawmaker delays House for second week 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.”