“It grants a reprieve, obviously, for the Dreamers, which again, I think is very important and necessary,” Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said of the ruling. “But I also recognize that it then reminds us that it’s back in the lap of those of us here in Congress.”
But veterans of the recent, fierce battles over immigration have expressed skepticism that the deeply divided lawmakers could reach consensus on broad immigration legislation in the months before the fall elections. Repeated efforts to negotiate an immigration deal between Democratic lawmakers and Mr. Trump in the last three years have all collapsed.
In January of 2018, Mr. Trump appeared ready to embrace a bipartisan deal that would have given permanent, legal status to the Dreamers in exchange for border security enhancements and other immigration changes. But the possibility of a deal collapsed after an Oval Office meeting in which the president’s hard-line advisers rebelled against it and Mr. Trump asked “why would we want all these people from shithole countries?”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California expressed hope that something could be achieved, but also said lawmakers must be realistic.
Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said that immigration reform was “worth a try — I’ve been trying for 20 years” and that he didn’t want “to walk away from any opportunity.” In a letter to Mr. Trump signed by Mr. Durbin and 40 other Democratic senators, Mr. Durbin urged the president not to end DACA.
“We must ensure these talented young immigrants are not forced to stop working when the need for their public service has never been greater. And we must give them the chance they deserve to become American citizens,” the senators wrote.
But some Republicans were not optimistic.
“Comprehensive immigration reform has never worked, at least not in the time I’ve been here,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, told reporters on Thursday. “So I think what we need to do is figure out how to take it in bite sized pieces and deal with it incrementally. I think if we did that on, on the DACA issue — because of the sympathetic nature of their plight — I think we’d have a better chance.”