GOP, Dems stress compromise on immigration
Members of both political parties are emphasizing a need for compromise on immigration negotiations, amid pressure to reach a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The calls for compromise follow the White House’s proposed immigration framework, which would give 1.8 million undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. In exchange, the White House wants $25 billion for border infrastructure and technology, more funds for personnel, and an end to family migration beyond spouses and minor children.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the so-called “common sense coalition” (a bipartisan group of senators who helped end the government shutdown earlier this month) will be meeting this week to discuss an immigration deal.
“I think all of us realize that it’s going to take compromise on this issue for us to get something done and to protect the Dreamer population, which is certainly a goal of mine,” Collins said. “But I think the president is also right about border security, that we do need to beef up our border security.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, a member of the coalition, called the White House framework a “breakthrough” and a “credible proposal.”
“We’re not going to see a government shutdown. The one good thing that came from this mess last week is we’re now focused on immigration. I think without the dust-up, we wouldn’t have a commitment to move toward on Feb. 8. We really have until March 5,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”
However, “you don’t need $25 billion for a wall,” Graham argued.
“You need wall systems. You need roads. You need redundancy. You need to fix old fencing. So we’re not going to build a 1,900-mile wall, but $25 billion can be spent wisely, ’cause the gang of eight bill spent $42 billion to secure the border,” he said.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said there’s “urgency” to wrap up an immigration deal.
“I view that as an opportunity to really show who’s willing to solve this problem … I think it’s a sign that shows he’s serious about solving this problem,” McCarthy told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, also said there would not be another shutdown over immigration.
“There’s no way that anyone should be considering any more of a government shutdown, even talking the nonsense of a shutdown,” Manchin said.
Despite the common sense coalition’s call for compromise, other Democrats appear to be resistant. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has pushed back on a deal for the wall, and following the framework’s proposal, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s proposal was a campaign to “Make America White Again.”
Manchin responded: “You know what, we don’t need that type of rhetoric on either side, from Nancy, Paul Ryan, or anybody else.”
White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Schumer and Pelosi “clearly have a radical left base that is putting pressure on them” on immigration.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with Democrats, said on “Face the Nation” that he also has “serious concerns” about the proposal.
“For my mind, and I speak only for myself, where the bad part comes is the idea of a wall, which I thought was a great idea in the 15th century,” he said.
The president, meanwhile, continues to blame Democrats for an immigration deal delay.
“Democrats are not interested in Border Safety & Security or in the funding and rebuilding of our Military. They are only interested in Obstruction!” he tweeted on Saturday.