Immigration negotiators on Capitol Hill were listening closely Wednesday night when President Donald Trump opened the door to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.
It's the issue that helped a little-known economics professor unseat the sitting House majority leader in 2014 and elevated Trump just two years later to become the Republican presidential nominee in a primary crowded with more experienced politicians.
Democrats, and some allied Republicans, countered that they'll try to work around the president, hoping to build support for the amnesty plan they tried to sell to the White House last week - but which rejected in a meeting where he used extreme language to talk about Haiti, El Salvador and other countries.
In September, Trump ended the Obama-era's DACA programme, saying it was an illegal assertion of executive authority by his predecessor.
"We are not going to allow Stephen Miller to exploit a crisis that he and his boss created to take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty and enact his nativist wish list", he said. "It's going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years", he told reporters during an impromptu news conference at the White House before he left for Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos. In recent days, however, the White House has put pressure on Democrats by pushing for greater immigration restrictions in return for protecting so-called Dreamers from deportation.
The move comes after members of Congress on both sides have criticized the president for not being clear about what he wants in an immigration deal. Three White House officials previewed the framework on the condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement.
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told Republican staffers that Trump would accept permanent legal status for current DACA recipients and Dreamers who are eligible for the program but don't now hold those protections, an estimated 1.8 million people, according to reports from NBC News and The Daily Beast. The framework is in effect a bottom line for Trump, one official said when asked if it was negotiable. Without Miller there, a bad DACA deal would be law and there would never be a wall or any sensible changes to American immigration policy. Kelly, who initially was scheduled to travel with the White House delegation, will remain in Washington to keep negotiating with Congress on immigration.
ESA's give parents school choice
The organizers say this event is meant to thank everyone who has provided great educational options to Arizona students. Trump praised Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was a school choice advocate before he appointed her to the position.
White House officials did not respond to requests for comment. Most if not all Democrats will oppose it.
But at least a few conservatives were joining the more moderate members in praising the White House's stance.
Lead negotiators in immigration say the President's comments represent "leadership", but whether Trump will stay there is an entirely different question. He said he'll propose $25 billion for building a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border and $5 billion for other security measures.
But even as the President's actions threatened young immigrants with deportation, he has urged Congress to find a permanent solution that could allow them to live and work in the country legally. Guy will gave a post tomorrow concerning Democrats putting that back on the table; they withdrew it once they caved on the shutdown fight.
"If he shifts or if he doesn't have a particular plan that he's endorsing, I think that's where it gets problematic", one Republican senator told CNN. The group invited Republican Whip John Cornyn, a Texas member of the Senate's Judiciary Committee, to discuss the issue. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Both senators are the deputy leaders of their respective parties and sit on a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee on immigration policy.
But the officials signaled that while the framework should pass muster in the Senate, they did not expect it to be the basis for legislation in the House. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, said when informed of the White House's announcement. Late a year ago, the White House sent a long list of immigration principles that lacked specifics.
Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, an immigration hard-liner aligned with the White House, said he spoke with Trump on Wednesday about this issue and that the President remains committed to the core pillars he had previously laid out.