Senators Say They’re Waiting on White House Immigration Demands

Key senators involved in negotiations on a key Obama-era immigration program said Wednesday they are still waiting for the White House’s list of border security demands.

“Well we waited again with sadly no results for the administration to produce their border security plan. How long have we been waiting? They’ve promised it over and over and over again,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters, asked about progress made in the immigration negotiations during the holiday recess.

A bipartisan group of senators and White House chief of staff John Kelly met in mid-December to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, with lawmakers saying the administration would send over a list within days.

The administration announced last year that it would end DACA, which allows undocumented immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to work and go to school if they meet certain conditions.

But multiple senators and Senate staffers said on Wednesday that the list hadn’t materialized yet.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said that “I personally haven’t seen it, but hopefully my staff has.”

“They said they would send it over, and I just don’t know what happened over the holidays,” he added, when told that Durbin also hadn’t seen the list.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who organized the mid-December meeting, said they also hadn’t received the White House’s list.

A bipartisan group of senators have been negotiating behind closed doors to try to get a deal that ties a DACA fix to border security. But GOP senators say they wanted the White House to outline what it would require in any legislation for President Trump to sign it.

A spokesman for the White House, asked about a timeframe, said he was “pretty sure we sent them back on Oct 8th.”

The White House released a wide-ranging list of border security and immigration principles last year that were quickly panned by Democrats. That included cracking down on undocumented children being sent to the U.S. border from Central and South American countries and construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall

By Jordain Carney for THE HILL
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