Negotiations have stagnated in recent days as Democrats and Republicans struggle to devise adequate tradeoffs related to border security and the future status of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
President Donald Trump’s White House has reportedly stalled negotiations by failing to provide specific border security measures the president would like to see codified in exchange for providing legal status to Dreamers, members of the bipartisan Senate negotiation group told Politico.
The Department of Homeland Security addressed the lack of direction Friday, issuing an $18 billion budget request to construct roughly 700 miles of wall on the southern border, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Two Republican members of the group, Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, blamed the stalled negotiations on Democrats’ unwillingness to make concessions on border security.
“Over the course of the last several weeks, we have negotiated in good faith with Senate Democrats on a DACA agreement,” Lankford and Tillis said in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, our discussions on border security and enforcement with Democrats are much further apart, and that is key to getting a bipartisan deal on DACA. Until that happens, we cannot accomplish the solutions our country needs and many families deserve.”
Tillis and Lankford stopped attending the bipartisan negotiation meetings prior to their statement, sources told Politico.
As the Senate appears inadequate to the task of cementing border security priorities and reaching a deal with Democrats, a group of House Republicans have launched their own legislative effort, drafting a bill that includes funding for a wall, increased border patrol agents and an end to chain migration. The bill has gained some traction in the House.
The bill’s sponsors — GOP Reps. Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Martha McSally of Arizona and Michael McCaul of Texas — are confident they will receive Trump’s support.
“It’s what the White House has been asking for,” one GOP source familiar with the measure told Politico. “This is the only bill that’s going to unify Republicans.”
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