DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, is not backing all of President Donald Trump’s latest immigration proposals.
The president sent a letter to Congress outlining what he wants in exchange for not deporting immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.
Trump wants billions of dollars for his border wall in exchange for helping so-called “dreamers.”
Gardner suggests he shouldn’t hold his breath.
“Look, I agree we have to e-verify. We have to have border security,” said Gardner.
Gardner is not sold on a $25 billion border wall. He suggests the letter represents an opening for negotiations, not an absolute.
But the president has long made a wall the centerpiece of his immigration reform, insisting it must be a part of any legislation to protect dreamers like Greisa Martinez Rosa from deportation.
“If Donald Trump is serious about protecting or fixing the mess he created by ending the DACA program then he has to get serious about what a real solution or real compromise would be and this is not it,” said Martinez Rosa.
In addition to full funding for a border wall, the president wants Congress to cut off federal grants for so-called sanctuary cities like Boulder and Denver.
He also called for skills-based immigration criteria, expedited deportation procedures for kids fleeing violence in Central America and mandatory e-verify at all companies to keep those in the country illegally from getting jobs.
“We have make sure we find a solution on both sides of aisle that addresses these needs along with DACA. A solution for people who were brought here through no fault of their own at a very young age. They need a solution, they need a legislative solution, and that’s what I hope we can come up with in a bipartisan fashion,” said Gardner.
Democratic leaders say the letter flies in the face of a deal they struck with the president last month, with the wall they say was explicitly ruled out.
The president gave Congress until March to come up with legislation to address the 800,000 dreamers in the country.
Gardner and Colorado’s Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet are co-sponsors of a bill that would protect dreamers from deportation without all of the president’s conditions.