Trump says he is “not going to let him walk away.”
| AP Photos | President Trump’s plan to deport millions of immigrants and temporarily halt refugees fleeing war, terror and persecution was on its way to passage in Congress Wednesday night.
Trump’s sweeping immigration overhaul has drawn swift opposition from Democrats and some Republicans who worry it will exacerbate the nation’s already-chronic drug crisis.
But as it stands, Trump has no clear path to passage or even the faintest chance of securing his signature campaign promise.
The plan, which would apply a three-year renewable timeline to deport all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., has already generated controversy among Democrats and civil rights advocates who say it could open the door to mass deportations.
Trump also faces a long-shot Democratic effort to block a $1 trillion relief package for the nation that has been widely expected to pass.
Trump has long been an advocate for deporting undocumented immigrants, including children, and his plan has included a requirement that he sign off on deportations if they occur.
The bill has been endorsed by Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, who said in an interview with The New York Times on Monday that the president is “going to make this a priority.”
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 98-0.
The Senate’s bill would temporarily halt deportations of all undocumented adults and children who entered the U., and require a six-month waiting period before any family members can be deported.
The measure has been opposed by some in Congress who fear it will be abused by politicians, including by Trump.
But Democrats are eager to move forward with the bill.
“We are not going to allow him to walk away,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a member of the Judiciary Committee who has opposed Trump’s executive actions on immigration.
“I don’t think this is a bill that he can do away with.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D, Ore.) said the president should not be “walking away from the people that he is supposed to represent.”
Trump said in a tweet late Tuesday that the Senate had passed his bill and he would sign it as soon as it passed the chamber.
Democrats have been fighting the legislation for weeks.
“This is an effort to enact an amnesty and a deportation plan that we all support, including our constituents,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D., Ill.), who co-sponsored the legislation with fellow Democrats.
The president, who has long called himself a nationalist, also vowed to sign the legislation in the near future.
“The Senate is coming, and I’m signing the bill right now,” Trump said Wednesday.
“It will be done, and it will pass.”
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters he was still “working very hard” to sign it, though he did not mention the possibility of a veto.
In a separate tweet, he said the legislation would “open the floodgates” to deportation.
The House passed the legislation on a voice vote on Monday.
The legislation has been championed by Bannon, the president’s top strategist and chief strategist for Breitbart News, a far-right news outlet.
The two have worked closely together for years, including on the campaign trail.
In June, Bannon called Trump “the most effective president in the history of the United States,” and the president has said he has been his chief strategist.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.