Donald Trump complicates 'Dreamer' debate

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"President Trump has been very clear on what he will sign into law, and this is it", Sen. "He's offered 1.8 million young adults who are now DACA recipients and DACA-eligible an opportunity to get on a pathway to American citizenship", Republican Senator John Cornyn said.

That framework set out four pillars that the White House wants to see addressed in any legislation: legal status for DACA recipients, more spending on border security, ending the visa program that lets immigrants in the USA bring their family members over, and eliminating the diversity visa lottery.

That "gang of six" previously outlined a more moderate plan that touches on the four areas the White House said it would like to see addressed - legal protections for DREAMers; money for border security and a wall; changes to family based or "chain" migration; and an end to the diversity visa lottery program.

On "Fox & Friends" Monday morning, a so-called "Dreamer" explained why he supports President Donald Trump's immigration policies. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of SC are keen on securing protection - though not necessarily immediate citizenship - for Dreamers, along with funding for a border wall and an end to the diversity visa lottery, which aims to bring immigrants to the USA from underrepresented countries and is a particular bête noire of conservatives.

In September, President Trump announced the elimination of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which protected some of these undocumented immigrants, also known as DREAMers, from deportation. Trump has proposed an extremely generous program that would legalize 1.8 million of the DREAMers, put them on a path to citizenship, and clear a backlog of up to 5 million potential immigrants now awaiting visas. He said Trump "is trying to force his unpopular, hard-line immigration agenda down the throats of the American people". Members emerged from Collins' office and said they had the contours of an agreement that would be "two pillars". It also wants to end the visa lottery programme and curtail family-based immigration, while promoting merit-based immigration. "If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not", he told reporters last week. This includes an imminent US$25 billion to build a border wall along the southern border, which funds fencing and other technology, along with more border patrol agents.

Senate debate on immigration began Tuesday.

But that measure, from the Senate's most hawkish Republicans on immigration, is unlikely to gain much, if any Democratic support.

"This plan is the only Senate plan that has any possibility of passing the House of Representatives and becoming law", said Sen. Bob Goodlatte and Mike McCaul that goes much further than the Senate proposal and White House framework and likely lacks even enough votes among Republicans to pass the House.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Democratic Senator and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer was critical of the Republican moves. "There's no reason why we should not reach a bipartisan solution this week", McConnell said.

But supporting the compromise would put members of Trump's own party at odds with the president, who urged senators to oppose any bipartisan plans that were different from his own.