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Sanders: White House to unveil immigration framework next week

The White House will roll out a “legislative framework” next week to address the group known as Dreamers and make other reforms to the U.S. immigration system, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

Sanders said the White House would offer what it believed was compromise legislation that could bridge a gap on the issue between the House and the Senate. She did not provide any details of what would be in the framework, however.

“Based on these negotiations, the White House will release a legislative frame work on Monday that represents a compromise that members of both parties can support. We encourage the Senate to bring it to the floor,” Sanders said. “After decades of inaction by Congress, it’s time we work together to solve this issue once and for all. The American people deserve no less.”

Lawmakers have struggled in recent weeks to negotiate a compromise on the status of Dreamers, or undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. An impasse over the issue briefly shut down the government, and although a continuing resolution reopened the government through early next month, talks about immigration are unresolved.

While Democrats have insisted on a deal for Dreamers, the White House has been emphatic that any such agreement be paired with immigration reforms and border security measures, including funding for President Donald Trump’s promised border wall. While the Senate has been engaged in talks across party lines, the conservative Freedom Caucus wields significant power in the House and could make a bipartisan deal more difficult.

Sanders indicated Wednesday that the president’s priorities would be addressed in the White House’s framework but would not say whether it would include a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, which is among the negotiations’ most contentious subjects.

Trump’s position on immigration talks has been somewhat murky, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer remarking last weekend that “negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week in the run-up to the shutdown that he was “looking for something that President Trump supports, and he’s not yet indicated what measure he’s willing to sign.”

Asked if the administration plan could pass muster on both sides of Capitol Hill, Sanders said: “We’d certainly like to think so.”

“We’ve taken into account all of the conversations that we’ve had both at the presidential and the staff level and tried to incorporate that into what we think addresses all of the different things that we’ve heard from the various stakeholders throughout the last several months,” she said. “A legislative package that can’t pass both houses doesn’t help us much.”

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