Tags: Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Immigration | John McCain | Trump Administration | chris coons | bipartisan

Sen. Coons: Trump 'Isn't Particularly Constructive' on Immigration Bill

(CNN's "New Day")

By    |   Tuesday, 06 February 2018 01:33 PM

President Donald Trump "isn't particularly constructive" when it comes to creating a bipartisan bill on immigration, according to Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., whose bipartisan effort with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is not expected to meet with the president's approval.

"I think once again, we're seeing the president isn't particularly constructive as we try to get into a bipartisan deal in the Senate," Coons told CNN's "New Day." "Part of the reason I was so honored to have Sen. McCain reach out to me is he has long represented a border state, Arizona."

The Coons-McCain bill, introduced in the Senate on Monday, provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers while greenlighting a study of border security needs. It does not, however, include money for funding a wall, and Trump has said he will reject that bill or others that do not include a wall.

"The bill that we've introduced is already a bill in the House that was introduced by Congressman Hurd of Texas from El Paso and Congressman Pete Aguilar from southern California," Coons said.

However, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., later in the morning said the House will only consider a reform bill if it has the president's support.

Coons said the House in question has 54 co-sponsors, with 27 from each party.

"It's our hope it can be a promising base bill for further discussion in the Senate," Coons said.

As an appropriator, Coons said, he would support "appropriations necessary" for the Department of Homeland Security to present a detailed plan for taking operational control of the border by 2020, but he does not support Trump's call "for us to hand over $25 billion without any ongoing oversight by Congress."

Still, Coons does think the United States should invest in a "smart wall" or wall systems.

He also thinks the U.S. could support a several billion in appropriations and come up with a pathway where a 10-year plan is presented.

"I'm working with a common sense coalition, a group of about two dozen senators, Republicans and Democrats to come up with a consensus proposal that would allow us to invest in border security while still maintaining a critical oversight role," Coons said.

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When it comes to the bipartisan immigration bill Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., put together, President Donald Trump "isn't particularly constructive," Coons said.
chris coons, bipartisan, legislation, border security, border wall
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 01:33 PM
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