The White House Is Asking Senators to Withdraw Their Sponsorship of Bipartisan Immigration Bill

The bill is the only one that appears to have any chance of passing, but a White House official calls it “outrageous” and “spectacularly poorly drafted.”

Ting Shen/ZUMA

The Trump administration is asking senators to withdraw their sponsorship of a bipartisan immigration bill, a White House official told reporters on Thursday.

The official, who asked not to be named, said the bill is “so spectacularly poorly drafted” that the White House is “officially asking the sponsors of the bill to withdraw their sponsorship, allowing for the possibility that they were simply grievously misinformed about the bill’s outrageous contents.” The comments came an hour after the White House released a statement threatening to veto the bill. 

As Mother Jones has written, the bipartisan measure would fund President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers—undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. It was introduced by Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine), along with seven additional Republicans and seven Democrats. It faces tough odds of getting the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, but is the only bill that currently appears to have a chance of passing. The administration favors a hardline approach that would severely curtail legal immigration.

A different administration official told reporters on Thursday, “We believe it is likely and possible, in the near future, you will see human smugglers throughout Central America circulating the Schumer-Rounds-Collins press release to drum up business.”