The White House said that no deal has been reached to protect nearly 800,000 DACA recipients.
“There has not been a deal reached yet,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “We still think we can get there, and we are very focused trying to make sure that it happens.”
However, six bipartisan senators announced they reached a deal in principle on legislation that would shield hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
The bipartisan group included Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) who initially announced the agreement, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and top Senate Democrat Dick Durbin. They have been working for months in hopes of securing legislation to extend DACA protections.
Flake said he expects a bill to get released by the end of the week. However, he doubts it could get passed by January 18, the deadline which Democrats have set as a target to pass an immigration plan as part of a deal to avoid a government shutdown.
Despite the fact that those not in agreement with the bipartisan group are willing to bend on the issue of childhood arrivals, the opposing side declared that Democrats have yet to provide enough on border security and other immigration issues.
Efforts to reach an immigration deal accelerated after Trump met with two dozen top lawmakers Tuesday at the White House and agreed to work toward a bipartisan agreement. The group members said they would agree to seek a package with four elements: helping the “Dreamers,” strengthening border security, changing how some immigrants bring relatives to the U.S. and altering a visa lottery.
Earlier this week, a federal judge issued a temporary block on the Trump administration’s plans to dismantle DACA. Judge William Alsup wrote that the University of California, which brought the legal challenge, was “likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious.”
Since September, every day some 120 young people have lost the ability to live, work, attend school, and drive. According to advocate estimates, over 14,000 young people have already fallen out of DACA status since Trump’s decision to get rid of the program. Come March, immigration advocates expect that 1,000 people a day will lose their DACA protections.