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Trump during a bipartisan immigration meeting last month. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A senior administration official said Tuesday night that President Trump "will veto any bill that doesn’t advance his common-sense immigration reforms" — a hardening of the White House bargaining position as the Senate begins an epic debate.

Why it matters: With moderate, bipartisan senators looking to restore protections for "Dreamers," who came to the U.S. as children, Trump is laying down a marker: He won’t approve the squishy bill that will most likely come out of the Senate.

  • Reality check: There's almost zero chance the Senate approves a bill Trump will like.
  • Trump wants long-term cuts to legal immigration.
  • The other side ... A Senate Democratic official tells us: "Their spin is laughably bad. He ended the [DACA] program. He would be deporting them. Who in their right mind would blame Democrats?"

In discussing the White House's strategic thinking, the administration official asserted confidence on immigration, saying Democrats who resist Trump's approach will "be walking into a political suicide march."

  • The administration official said: "The White House has claimed the mainstream, middle ground on immigration."
  • "By opposing the president’s framework, Democrats are making it clear that they care more about donors than Dreamers."
  • "Republicans have Democrats backed into a corner," the official added. "Democratic leaders are now catering to the far-left activist wing of their base."
  • "Democrats are selling out American workers for open borders ... [T]he White House is making it clear that the Republican Party is the party of American workers."

The Senate Democratic official blasted back: "Republicans are in charge of Congress, the President ended DACA, and if deportations come, it’ll be Donald Trump’s ICE agents doing the deportations."

  • "Republicans will own any failure to get a result here. Period."
  • The Democratic official added: "They will have to defend it while trying to win Senate seats in Nevada and Arizona, and swing House seats across the country."
  • "Democrats have offered Donald Trump the wall and reasonable bipartisan proposals on what they call chain migration and diversity visas."
  • "We have claimed the middle ground, and the President has rejected it ... He’s using Dreamers as leverage to achieve immigration policies that are broadly unpopular."
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Go deeper

Investors fear inflation, labor shortages in second half of 2021

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors entered 2021 concerned about the transition to a new U.S. president, the form of new fiscal stimulus, the distribution of vaccines and the reopening of the economy. Now, top risks include supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, inflation and slower GDP growth.

Why it matters: Stocks have rallied almost unabated for over a year, leaving many to wonder if the market is overdue for a big selloff. Last week's declines amplify those concerns.

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2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump works refs ahead of book barrage

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump has given at least 22 interviews for 17 different books since leaving office, with authors lining up at Mar-a-Lago as he labors to shape a coming tsunami of Trump tomes, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Trump advisers see the coming book glut as proof that interest in "POTUS 45," as they call him, has never been higher. These advisers know that most of the books will paint a mixed picture, at best. But Trump is working the refs with charm, spin and dish.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The swoon in college enrollment

Expand chart
Data: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The pandemic's effects, along with a decline in the number of young adults, have depressed college enrollment, with community colleges bearing much of the brunt.

Why it matters: A college degree is becoming more important as the demand for higher skills sharpens. The drop in college enrollment — which is especially steep for Black and Latino students — is bad news for both the higher education industry and broader social mobility.