Sen. Tim Scott said President Trump's proposed merit-based immigration system is the right path, but it will be difficult to achieve comprehensive immigration reform if Democrats won't come to the negotiating table.
Trump on Thursday unveiled an immigration overhaul plan that would dramatically alter how the U.S. accepts people into the country, upending the system in order to favor admissions based on merit rather than family ties.
Democrats dismissed Trump’s plan before it was even announced, indicating an uphill climb in Congress. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said earlier Thursday that the plan “isn’t a serious attempt at immigration reform.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., described the Trump plan as "dead-on-arrival" and "not a remotely serious proposal."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said that Trump's proposal was "based on a set of falsehoods aimed at only allowing immigrants from certain favored nations or backgrounds."
"If you are serious about ... a solution for immigration, not just the issue of immigration, the president's plan is a great place to start," Scott, R-S.C., said on "Fox & Friends" Friday.
He said it's clear that a merit-based system would be beneficial for the country, and he called on Democrats to "come to the table and negotiate."
Host Brian Kilmeade asked Scott about Sen. Lindsey Graham's, R-S.C., proposed immigration bill, which would end asylum claims from Central America at the border and return unaccompanied minors to their home countries -- a targeted effort to tackle the escalating migration crisis.
"It would be helpful, but here's my concern," Scott responded. "I think the Democrats prefer the issue than the solution. There's no real doubt."
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.