Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Sunday called on President Donald Trump to sign on to a framework to shield so-called Dreamers from deportation, ignoring hard-line views on immigrants within his administration.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” McAuliffe said, “We are there” on an immigration deal, noting the one struck last week by a bipartisan group of six senators.
“You have vast agreement between Democrats and Republicans. If you put a bill up Tuesday, they would vote for it and it would overwhelmingly pass,” McAuliffe said.
“Forget Stephen Miller. Stephen Miller did not get elected president of the United States of America,” McAuliffe urged, referencing the Trump senior policy adviser known for his hard-line immigration views. “Mr. Trump, if you’re watching today, you know what the right thing is, and just do it.”
The bipartisan senators group last week struck a deal to protect Dreamers, a 12-year pathway to citizenship. The deal also includes $2.7 billion for border security, of which $1.6 billion would go toward border wall planning and construction.
But the framework hasn’t won over Trump, who slammed the deal on Twitter on Friday as “a big step backwards” and tweeted Sunday that “DACA is probably dead,” referencing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which began during the Obama administration.
McAuliffe, however, contended that Trump would benefit from signing off on the bipartisan deal.
“He wants it. He is being run by Stephen Miller,” McAuliffe said. “What does the president want? He wants a deal to announce, and he wants his approval ratings to go up.”
CNN moderator Jake Tapper also pressed McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, on whether he’d challenge Trump for the presidency in 2020. The longtime Democratic Party insider said he was committed to efforts to overhaul the redistricting process in 2018, but he wouldn’t rule out a possible run.
“We’ll see what happens after that, but could you imagine … hypothetically, if that ever happened,” he said. “You’d have to sell tickets to that debate.”