President Donald Trump rejected a bipartisan immigration plan on Monday — even before it was formally presented by Sens. John McCain and Chris Coons — as lawmakers struggled to resolve an impasse over how to change the system.
McCain, R-Ariz., and Coons, D-Del., are set to introduce legislation that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants. It calls for boosting border security by 2020 but does not include explicit funding for Trump's proposed border wall or some of the restrictions on legal immigration that the president wants.
In a tweet, Trump did not mention the senators by name, but called a bill that does not include "STRONG" border security and a wall "a total waste of time." He claimed that Democrats "seem not to care" about extending legal status for the young immigrants ahead of a "rapidly approaching" March 5 deadline when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is set to start phasing out.
Trump ended the DACA program in September but gave lawmakers six months to change it. Democrats and many Republicans want to enshrine legal status for the immigrants protected by it, but they have struggled to reach a deal on other changes sought by the GOP.
The president has pushed for funding his proposed southern-border barrier, limits on extended family migration and an end to the visa "lottery" system. Democrats appear unwilling to accept major restrictions on legal immigration.