President Donald Trump discussed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program with Republican leaders of Congress at dinner Wednesday night, but mostly was “venting,” one attendee said.
“I think he was venting. I think he realizes this process is very frustrating,” No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn said.
Trump has fumed in recent weeks about the lack of progress on immigration in Congress, tweeting about his border wall and blaming Democrats for the failure to advance policies.
In February, the Senate failed to advance any legislation to preserve DACA, a program that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, which Trump has ended.
Trump’s White House proposed an aggressive solution, with a generous path to citizenship for eligible young immigrants but also a host of other hardline measures, including changes to immigration law and sharp cuts to legal immigration, especially sponsoring family members. It also included $25 billion for the wall.
That measure got only 39 votes in the 100-member Senate.
A separate proposal crafted by a group of roughly 20 Republicans and Democrats that would have included the same path to citizenship for DACA, $25 billion for the wall, cutting one family sponsorship visa and restrictions on sponsorship for parents who brought their kids illegally. That measure was aggressively attacked by the administration, and fell six votes short of getting the 60 votes necessary to advance, after being aggressively attacked by the White House and Department of Homeland Security. Trump also rejected an offer from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to trade DACA citizenship for $25 billion for the wall.
A separate effort to attach a deal to the major government spending deal in March reached a stalemate when the parties couldn’t agree.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.