President Donald Trump and Republican senators agreed Thursday not to deal with a needed fix for young immigrants in must-pass year-end spending legislation, according to some GOP lawmakers.
Instead, they said, a solution would wait until next year for some 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children. Those immigrants, known by supporters as Dreamers, are in limbo after Trump announced he was ending temporary deportation protections granted by the Obama administration and giving Congress until March to come up with a fix.
Democrats have indicated they want to use a year-end spending bill to force action on Dreamers. Their votes will likely be needed to pass spending legislation to keep the government running, so the Trump-GOP stance may not end up prevailing.
"No immigration bill on the omnibus or any other must-pass piece of legislation in 2017," said GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas after exiting a White House meeting on Thursday. "He agreed to that, as does the Senate leadership, and I think the vast majority of Republican senators."
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said that using the so-called "omnibus" spending bill to resolve the status of Dreamers was "the pipe dream of some Democrats."
Immigrant advocates have been pushing for action. In September, Democratic leaders said they had a deal with Trump to enshrine protections for the immigrants in exchange for border security measures short of a border wall. But the supposed deal immediately came into dispute and now appears to have totally unraveled if it existed at all.