White House aide shoots down smaller immigration deal

White House aide shoots down smaller immigration deal
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A top White House aide said Monday that the administration isn't open to narrowing down an immigration deal — an idea being floated by a key group of bipartisan senators. 

"No, we really think we've narrowed it down, we really do," White House legislative director Marc Short said, after being asked if the White House is open to a smaller agreement that would pair enhanced border security measures with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) fix. 

Short added that the White House felt it had offered a "pretty strong compromise" with its immigration framework released late last week. 

The White House released the outline of its proposal on Thursday. It included a pathway to citizenship for roughly 1.8 million immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. That's in exchange for tens of billions of dollars for the wall on the Mexican border and other provisions aimed at limiting legal immigration. 

Short added the without changes to immigration laws, Congress would be creating a "magnet that just creates more pressure" on border security officials. 

Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed during a televised meeting earlier this month to limit any immigration deal to four pillars: a DACA fix, border security, changes to family-based immigration and the elimination of the State Department's diversity visa lottery.

But a growing number of senators are pitching an agreement that would include a fix for DACA recipients with border security. That idea, discussed during a closed-door meeting late last week, would not include a path to citizenship or changes to which family members citizens and legal residents can sponsor. 

Asked on Monday if changes to "chain migration" and the visa lottery needed to be included in any agreement, Short said: "Absolutely."

Short's comments come after he, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? FEMA head resigns 'El Chapo' found guilty on all charges MORE met with Sens. John CornynJohn CornynGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration Trump to sign border deal, declare national emergency MORE (R-Texas) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees GOP leader presses Trump to agree to border deal Trump divides Democrats with warning of creeping socialism MORE (D-Ill.) and Reps. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Dem rep hopes Omar can be 'mentored,' remain on Foreign Affairs panel MORE (R-Calif.) and Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerWinners and losers in the border security deal Overnight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration MORE (D-Md.).

McCarthy, after the meeting, said there was no discussion of doing a temporary one year DACA fix.

Cornyn added that he expected a final agreement to include all of the four pillars. 

"The president said there are four pillars, and I think we're going to have to come up with a solution that addresses all four," he said.

The Trump administration announced last year that it was ending DACA. Congress has until March 5 to reach a deal.