WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump will meet Thursday at the White House with senators who have been working on a legislative fix to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who will lose their work permits when an Obama-era program ends this spring, according to three people familiar with the meeting.
Trump hasn't been involved in the day-to-day negotiations on so-called "Dreamers" ever since he was accused of backing out of a tentative agreement with Democrats in September and insisted the issue be part of a larger immigration package.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. confirmed to McClatchy on Wednesday night that they planned to attend the White House meeting. An aide to Sen. Thom Tillis said the North Carolina Republican would also participate.
Trump's involvement come after three former homeland security secretaries warned lawmakers that a bill needed to pass this month in order to put a program in place to protect the immigrants brought into the country as children.
They said in an open letter time was running out on a legislative solution to protect those affected from losing their work permits and potentially facing deportation.
Jeh Johnson and Janet Napolitano, secretaries under President Barack Obama, and Michael Chertoff, secretary under President George W. Bush, sent the letter Wednesday to Trump's aides.
"The realistic deadline for successfully establishing a Dreamers program in time to prevent large scale loss of work authorization and deportation protection is only weeks away, in the middle of January," they wrote in the letter.
Some lawmakers of both parties are pushing for a legislative fix to be part of deal for Democratic support of a spending package that must be passed by Jan. 19 to keep most of the government operating.
Two top White House aides -- Marc Short and Mick Mulvaney -- met with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about the spending bill and related issues Wednesday.
"We had a positive and productive meeting and all parties have agreed to continue discussing a path forward to quickly resolve all of the issues ahead of us," Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.