Aides for Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), along with officials from the Department of Homeland Security, took a hard line in the latest discussions with their Democratic counterparts, calling for an end to “sanctuary cities” and raising other enforcement issues that Democrats reject as outside the scope of a potential deal to salvage the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
In response, staffers for Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) made clear they will not agree to any changes to the current visa diversity program. That’s the program that had drawn Trump’s ire for allowing in too many immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, instead of countries like Norway.
At one point in Friday’s session, an aide to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked the DHS officials if they were representing the White House in these discussions and were told “no,” surprising aides from both parties.