Trump seems determined to quash any bipartisan DACA deal

Trump is refusing to sign any immigration bill into law unless it meets his self-proclaimed four pillars

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 15, 2018 5:39PM (EST)

Chuck Schumer; Donald Trump (AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Getty/Ron Sachs)
Chuck Schumer; Donald Trump (AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Getty/Ron Sachs)

President Donald Trump has made it clear that he will not accept a bipartisan agreement on immigration reform unless it includes his own hard-line right-wing policy proposals — leaving the Senate without enough votes to pass any of its assorted immigration proposals.

The president torpedoed one proposal with support from a group of eight senators from both parties when he blasted it as “a total catastrophe” and his Department of Homeland Security lambasted it as the “end of immigration enforcement in America” on Thursday.

"The Schumer-Rounds-Collins proposal destroys the ability of the men and women from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to remove millions of illegal aliens," Trump's Department of Homeland Security explained on its website Thursday. "It would be the end of immigration enforcement in America and only serve to draw millions more illegal aliens with no way to remove them. By halting immigration enforcement for all aliens who arrived before June 2018, it ignores the lessons of 9/11 and significantly increases the risk of crime and terrorism."

The statement went on to say that any immigration reform bill needed to follow the "four compromise pillars" that Trump has established as a sine qua non on this issue. Those pillars include making it more difficult for immigrants to come to the United States legally, a core principle for many of the president's far-right supporters.

Trump's intransigent stance on immigration reform couldn't come at a more inopportune moment. Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell imposed an end of the week deadline for passing immigration reform legislation, his party could suffer a major PR embarrassment if they are unable to get anything done on this high profile issue. According to Politico:

The White House has been telling Republican senators that it expects the Supreme Court to overturn the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling extending protections for undocumented immigrants under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The implication is that what is now an indefinite grace period would quickly disappear — and that Democrats would be without leverage and forced to accept more Republican demands in order to codify DACA.

The bipartisan bill with the most support would have provided a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers (undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children) and spend $25 billion on border security, according to Bloomberg. While a Republican-supported bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa also included those measures, it would add limits to family-based migration and eliminate the diversity visa lottery. It was also voted down by the Senate on Thursday.

The bipartisan bill was written by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and its main sponsor Mike Rounds, R-S.D.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, World War II historian Joshua Levine (consultant to "Dunkirk"), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Immigration Joe Manchin Mike Rounds Mitch Mcconnell