Trump, Key Lawmakers Negotiating Immigration Policies


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.

Bannon's break with Trump has raised concerns among some conservative Republicans that the president might reach an agreement with Democrats on the young "Dreamers" without getting enough in return on border security and significant changes to the immigration system.

"The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the awful Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc", Trump tweeted in December.

"I have no problem", Trump said in response to a question about supporting a clean DACA bill, while Republican lawmakers looked on. But a report from The New York Times on Monday makes it clearer than ever that Trump cares less about border security and more about erecting a giant, meaningless monument to his ego. "And if there's other elements that have to be included in a broader deal to get signed into law, this is a foundation for that conversation".

He added that any bill addressing immigration should be "bipartisan", and a "bill of love", though he maintained that it would necessarily include ending "chain migration" and scrapping the diversity visa-lottery program. DACA has become a bargaining chip as Congress moves closer to having to pass a spending bill or shut down the government.

Top congressional leaders are not expected to attend Tuesday's meeting. Back in September, President Trump rescinded Barack Obama's executive order creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and very sensibly sent it back to Congress to come up with a more encompassing immigration solution. "I think he thinks they're interchangeable".

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"The wall is going to happen or we're not going to have DACA", Trump said Saturday after meeting with congressional Republicans at Camp David.

He also called for an end to "chain migration" and to the green card lottery system.

Earlier Tuesday, during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration, the president said he envisioned a two-part immigration plan.

The kind of "wall" many Republicans believe is realistic varies greatly from the hundreds-of-miles-long concrete barrier that Trump may have imagined when he campaigned for president.

But then a few minutes later, Trump said DACA could come first and reform could come down the road, or immediately after. "I don't think it's going to be that complicated". Democrats have threatened to risk a shutdown if they do not get a DACA extension, although they backed off from a similar threat in December. Congressional aides reported that party leaders are informed of their proposal to let certain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, which ended in September 2017, ultimately get permanent or conditional residence and potentially qualify for USA citizenship.