- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer predicted Tuesday that Dreamers will get permanent legal status in the end-of-year spending deal Congress is working on and said President Trump will have to sign it.

“We feel very strongly that DACA must pass and must pass by Dec. 31,” Mr. Schumer told reporters at the Capitol. “We think we’re going to have a good number of our Republican colleagues join us.”

Mr. Trump’s decision in September to impose a six-month phase-out on the legally suspect Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty has dropped the difficult issue in the lap of Congress.

The president said Capitol Hill must figure out a permanent solution for the nearly 700,000 young adults protected by the DACA program, but has also said it must be coupled with stiff security provisions.

A White House official said any solution that emerges must include the list of changes Mr. Trump laid out in a letter last month. That list called for improvements to interior enforcement, changes to cut down on chain migration and more border security — including Mr. Trump’s border wall.

“These reforms have been identified by our nation’s law enforcement professionals as vital safeguards for the American People to both prevent new illegal immigration and to end chain migration,” the White House official said.

Democrats have balked at those security ideas, saying the illegal immigrant Dreamers have earned a right to citizenship. They’ve created a self-imposed end-of-year deadline for getting that done.

With an end-of-year spending bill also due, Democrats have said the two issued could be coupled — and a number of Democrats have said they wouldn’t support any spending bill without a DACA fix.

Mr. Schumer, though, said it won’t come to a government shutdown situation because he said enough Republicans will back Democrats’ demands. And he said Mr. Trump would sign whatever bill reaches his desk.

“If DACA is in the omnibus he won’t veto it, is my prediction,” the New York Democrat said.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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