The White House is waiting for Democrats to jump on board with President Trump’s immigration plans, but administration officials are skeptical Democrats actually want a deal.
Marc Short, White House legislative director, said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump’s proposed plan to protect 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children is more generous than anything Democrats could have hoped for on an immigration deal. Conservatives are willing to get on board, but Democrats seem reluctant, he said.
“We are anxious to get a deal. We've been trying to get a deal. I think the question really belongs to the Democrats in Congress,” he said.
He said conservatives are willing to back the plan because Trump has offered to provide them political cover and Democratic leaders must do the same.
“In that meeting, at the White House when the president had 20 members of Congress over, he said 'I will provide cover from our side on this issue.' The question is, are Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi going to provide cover for their members? They are not showing the same leadership so far,” Short said.
Administration officials proposed a bill that would allow 1.8 million people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to stay in the country. About 700,000 people are covered by the program, but the offer from the White House would allow all people who are eligible for the program to stay in the country, even if they were too afraid to apply.
In exchange for that deal, Trump wants $25 billion for his southern border wall and more money for border security along the Mexican border.
“Conservatives recognize the benefit to really securing our border and fixing these problems,” Short said. “I think we will get widespread support on our side. The question is politically — it's not a policy issue.”