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Lawmakers in both parties said Sunday that the immigration debate should focus narrowly on efforts to legalize young immigrants known as “dreamers” and beef up border security, suggesting that President Trump’s demands to slash legal immigration levels are likely to sink a deal.

Democrats have voiced fierce opposition to a White House plan, released late last week, that featured a path to citizenship for 1.8 million dreamers in exchange for $25 billion for his border wall and sharp cuts to family immigration visas.

Though Democratic leaders have grudgingly offered wall funding, they have accused the president of leveraging the dreamers as “ransom” to severely constrict legal immigration, calling it a wish list for “anti-immigration hard-liners” and “white supremacists.”

Congress members, including some Republicans, said Sunday that the negotiations have gone too far afield ahead of a March 5 deadline after which 690,000 dreamers in an Obama-era deferred action program could begin to lose their protections from deportation.

“It seems to me that the two important things to tackle right now . . . are to protect the dreamers and also to strengthen border security,” Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Lawmakers call on Trump to drop bid for legal immigration cuts

Members of both parties said the president should narrow the focus to ‘dreamers’ and border security.


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