Updated 3:24 p.m. | The White House on Monday will roll out a legislative framework for an immigration overhaul deal “that represents a compromise” members of both parties can accept, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.
The plan will propose border security measures, closing loopholes, ending so-called chain migration, canceling the visa lottery program and legalizing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, she added.
Rolling out the immigration framework on Monday will allow President Donald Trump to discuss it during his first State of the Union address next Tuesday night.
Earlier Wednesday, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, one of nearly two dozen senators trying to find a bipartisan immigration compromise, told Roll Call the group is merely trying to craft the best bill possible. But it is not doing its work with much of a mind toward whether Trump would sign it or the House would pass it, he said.
That raises questions about whether that group’s emerging bill will ever become law.
Watch: Immigration, Budget Talks on Hill Could Be Just That — A Lot of Talk
“We want to see a legislative package that addresses the four things we laid out and can get to the president’s desk,” Sanders said, adding that the White House’s plan is being crafted with an aim of getting it through both chambers in mind.
“I don’t think that helps us very much,” Sanders said of legislation crafted with only one chamber in mind.
Trump met privately with six Senate immigration hard-liners on Monday at the White House. Later in the day, he met with two moderate Democrats about the same topic. And last Friday, he and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer discussed immigration during a meeting on averting a government shutdown.
Trump and White House aides have had meetings and calls with lawmakers for months about an immigration overhaul. The framework “takes into account all of the conversations we’ve had,” Sanders said.
House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia and other House Republicans have introduced their own immigration bill that the White House has signaled the president would sign. But it is not expected to go anywhere in the Senate, which Sanders appeared to acknowledge Wednesday.
She said there is no other legislation that “brings all of the stakeholders to the table,” adding that “the president wants to lead on this issue.”
But Democrats in both chambers have for months slammed a list of immigration principles the White House rolled out in October, and many remain skeptical about Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border barrier proposal. What’s more, when Graham and Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin recently presented a compromise bill to Trump that would have given him a chunk of wall funding, legalized DACA, terminated the visa lottery program and rolled back chain migration, he rejected it.
Trump reportedly grew angry in a Jan. 11 Oval Office meeting about that bill with Graham, Durbin and other lawmakers, in which he allegedly referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries.” (The president has since denied using that term, but has admitted to using “tough language.”)