Schumer, Pelosi blast Trump's new immigration principles

Schumer, Pelosi blast Trump's new immigration principles
© Greg Nash

Top congressional Democrats quickly ripped the Trump administration's immigration principles on Sunday night, warning they fall far short of a potential deal to help undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children. 

"The administration can't be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement. 

ADVERTISEMENT

They added if President Trump was "serious" during a closed-door meeting last month about helping current undocumented immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, "his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so.” 

The administration rolled outs its "immigration principles" on Sunday night as they prepare for negotiations over DACA, an Obama-era program the Trump administration has announced it will phase out. 

Those principles include cracking down on undocumented children being sent to the U.S. border from Central and South American countries, toughening of border security and immigration enforcement and construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, according to The New York Times

The agreement goes far beyond an outline of a deal with the White House announced by Schumer and Pelosi last month, after their meeting with Trump. The two Democrats said the president had agreed to attach a DACA fix to a border security package that would not include wall funding. 

They reiterated on Sunday night that their agreement "explicitly ruled out" the border wall — a key Trump campaign promise. 

“We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise," Schumer and Pelosi added. 

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, similar to DACA, would allow undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children to live and work in the United States legally. 

Lawmakers are struggling to come up with a deal on how to pass a legislative fix for DACA, with GOP senators introducing competing proposals. 

GOP Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonMeadows, Cotton introduce bill to prevent district judges from blocking federal policy changes GOP senator defends Trump idea to buy Greenland GOP senator says he suggested Greenland purchase to Trump, met with Danish ambassador MORE (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.) have also floated tying parts of their White House-backed legislation cracking down on legal immigration, known as the RAISE Act, to any potential agreement. 

The two senators, along with Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Congress set to ignore Trump's wall request in stopgap measure Cruz: Texas will be 'hotly contested' in 2020 MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview MORE (R-Va.) met with Trump at the White House to discuss immigration last week. 

But their legislation was panned by Democrats and some Republicans. It's widely viewed as unable to get the votes to pass the Senate.  

Any deal will need to get at least 60 votes to clear the upper chamber and make it to Trump's desk, meaning it will need the support of both Democrats and Republicans.