President Donald Trump on Wednesday opened the door to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, the first time he's explicitly said he'd accept a pathway to citizenship for them.
Trump said he wanted to offer the Dreamers, protected from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, an "incentive" of citizenship perhaps in 10 to 12 years.
Senators are nervous that White House's forthcoming immigration reform framework due Monday could derail bipartisan negotiations that have so far been civil, due to President Donald Trump's volatility on policy issues.
Trump said he would also suggest US$5 billion for border security and would seek to curb family sponsorship of immigrants and the visa lottery system in his framework.
The Democrats and Republicans have agreed to come out with a legislation ahead of the February 6 deadline as a condition to extend the short-term funding of the government, in the absence of which the opposition Senators have threatened to resort to government shutdown as it happened over the weekend for three days.
The immigration issue is now in flux with barely two weeks before a February 8 deadline agreed by both parties to either strike a deal, or take the issue to the Senate floor for debate before the "Dreamers" face mass deportation in March.
Sanders said the new White House offer will represent "a compromise that members of both parties can support", but she did not provide details.
"We're talking about probably 800 miles of wall", he said.More news: Tom Brady mum on hand injury, practice status
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"I don't think that helps us very much", Sanders said of legislation crafted with only one chamber in mind.
South Carolina's Sen. Lindsey Graham, a key Republican negotiator, called the White House's plan to release a framework "excellent", noting the importance of getting the White House's "input".
"We encourage the Senate to bring it to the floor", she told reporters at the daily briefing.
The White House has come under fire from critics for its response to the shooting at Marshall County High School, which left two students dead and injured 18 others. Trump announced he was ending DACA a year ago.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., an immigration hawk whom Trump has consulted during the negotiations, said on Twitter that a path to citizenship for dreamers "must be done responsibly, guaranteeing a secure & lawful border & ending chain migration, to mitigate the negative side effects of codifying DACA".
"We're going to have a fair and open process that will give everybody an opportunity to participate", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said.