Senators and Trump Inch Toward DACA Deal, but a Wall Divides Them

Sheryl Gay Stolbergjan, New York Times, Decermber 4, 2018

Four months after President Trump rescinded an Obama-era program shielding young unauthorized immigrants, the White House and Senate negotiators are inching toward a deal that would restore the protections, while also beefing up border security.

But Democrats and Republicans remain divided over the shape and scope of the package — and especially over Mr. Trump’s proposal to build a wall at the Mexican border.

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Overhauling the nation’s immigration laws is a goal that has eluded presidents since President Ronald Reagan signed a sweeping measure in 1986 that offered amnesty to nearly three million illegal immigrants. Mr. Cornyn and other Republicans say they are optimistic that Mr. Trump can break the logjam.

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Mr. Trump and Republicans would like to expand the measure so that it sharply limits what he calls “chain migration,” the longstanding policy that allows one family member to sponsor another to come to the United States, and ends the so-called visa lottery, which aims to diversify the immigrant population by selecting applicants randomly from countries with low rates of immigration. Mr. Trump called the lottery “a disaster.”

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Still, there appears to be some confusion about what, precisely, the president wants. After Thursday’s meeting, Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, said Mr. Trump was not insisting on a massive physical wall.

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Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who also attended Thursday’s meeting, said Wednesday that he expected a “very good compromise” to be ready by the end of the month, and that it would have a mix of border security provisions.

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