Trump suggests 2-phase immigration deal for 'Dreamers'

Kristopher Drake
January 10, 2018

"The other thing that we've got to look at, the wall itself, talk to your Border Patrol chief or the former Border Patrol chief, I've asked them, how much time does a wall buy you?"

That is, Trump needs Democrats to support this measure.

"I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with", Trump said.

Ten Democratic Senate seats are up in states Trump won in 2016. Sen. "Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about", he said, implying that the wall was little more than a well-marketed concept created to appeal to his voter base.

Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, said a DACA bill could win support for passage even though there are differences between the parties over constitutes necessary border security.

In a rare view inside a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and lawmakers of both parties in Congress, television cameras rolled for nearly an hour as the President urged each side to do all they can to find agreement on how to deal with illegal immigrant "Dreamers" along with tougher border security measures, as Mr. Trump even called on the House and Senate to consider a second phase of legislative action on comprehensive immigration reform.

"I would love not to build the wall, but you need the wall", the President said near the end of the 55 minute White House photo op.

The intervening months have not improved relationships between Kelly and Democratic lawmakers.

"What we're talking about is a restoration of the two great pillars of American immigration policy", said Cornyn. Sixty votes will be needed to pass legislation, and Republicans control 51 seats.

"We're very encouraged by the way the president has been framing this issue", Beck said. "President Donald Trump is going to have to bless a deal, [and] that is a formidable challenge".

The White House said after the meeting that lawmakers had agreed to narrow the scope of the negotiations to four areas: border security, family-based "chain migration", the visa lottery, and the DACA policy, winning nods from Democrats. Democrats say they see room to negotiate on a deal that's primarily border security infrastructure, combined with a pathway to legal status for DACA recipients.

That means Republicans now face the possibility of having no budget accord anytime soon - unless they cave to Democrats.

In addition, Trump said he is seeking an end to the U.S.'s visa lottery program, as well as immigration based on extended familial relations, as part of a comprehensive package. We don't need a wall where you have rivers and mountains and everything else protecting it. Ruark's group wants DACA negotiations to focus on a proposal to hold employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants - above immigration enforcement.

But the political risks for them are huge. It provides $15 billion for some physical barriers along the border, while using technology to monitor places where a wall is less practical.

"Sitting next to that President and listening him explain the wall, it was explained in so many different to how long is was, what it was like, how tall it was, whether it was really a fence", Durbin said after the meeting Tuesday. Trump, he said, promised repeatedly on the campaign trail that Mexico would pay for the wall.

Trump responded, "I would like it".

"You can put the most lovely wall out there and it's not going to stop them", Cuellar remarked.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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