President Trump has invited a group of Republican senators to the White House on Thursday to discuss their behind-the-scenes effort to fold a legislative solution for so-called Dreamers into a broader border security and immigration reform bill.
Sen. Chuck Grassley confirmed the meeting during an interview with the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, noting that the final list of attendees is still being determined.
The Iowa Republican has been working closely with colleagues to craft an immigration bill that address longstanding issues related to illegal immigration and provides a solution for undocumented youth whose legal status is set to expire between now and March 5, 2018, when Trump has directed his administration to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Grassley acknowledged that Trump, who outlined strict demands for immigration reform soon after the reneged on an agreement to cut an immigration deal with Senate Democratic leaders, is unlikely to get everything he asked for if the upper chamber releases an immigration bill in the coming months.
"I don't know how much of what the president put out will be in there," he said.
But the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman did say there is an appetite to include some merit-based reform measures that would reshape the legal immigration system too.
"I think we're going to be dealing more with the illegal side, but I would say that there is a lot of sort for meritocracy and ... I wouldn't be surprised if there are some merit-based elements in there," Grassley said.
The upcoming meeting on immigration comes amid the president's renewed calls for enhanced vetting procedures and the elimination of so-called diversity visas after Tuesday's terror attack by an Uzbek national in New York. It will also take place the same day House Republicans plan to unveil their long-awaited tax reform bill, a day later than originally scheduled.
A White House spokesperson did not return the Washington Examiner's request for comment.