Trump Suggests 2-Phase Immigration Deal for ‘Dreamers’

Ken Thomas and Alan Fram, Associated Press, January 9, 2018

{snip}

Trump held a lengthy meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers seeking a solution for hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as children and living here illegally. Trump last year ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shielded more than 700,000 people from deportation and gave then the right to work legally. He gave Congress until March to find a fix.

{snip}

“I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” Trump said during a Cabinet Room meeting with a bipartisan group of 20 lawmakers, adding, “I am very much reliant upon the people in this room.” A group of journalists observed the meandering meeting for an extraordinary length of time — about 55 minutes — that involved Trump seeking input from Democrats and Republicans alike in a freewheeling exchange on the contentious issue.

{snip}

The president said he would insist on construction of a border security wall as part of an agreement involving young immigrants, but he said Congress could then pursue a comprehensive immigration overhaul in the second phase.

{snip}

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., leader of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, said in a text message after the White House meeting that he opposed the approach Trump suggested.

{snip}

The president appeared to acknowledge the potential political pitfalls of pursuing a more permanent deal, telling the lawmakers, “I’ll take all the heat you want. But you are not that far away from comprehensive immigration reform.”

{snip}

Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said his party was opposed to GOP calls for $18 billion in funding to build the wall. “It was clear in the meeting that wall did not mean some structure,” he said of Trump’s remarks, noting the president also mentioned fencing, cameras, and other security measures for the border.

Republicans were adamant that Trump’s call “means the wall,” but that Trump acknowledges that it does not need to cover the entire length of the border, because of geographic barriers. Just how many miles of a constructed wall the president would need to sign onto an immigration bill would be subject to negotiation, said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

{snip}

McCarthy said lawmakers in both parties agreed to constrain the immediate immigration push to four areas: DACA, securing the border, and addressing family-based “chain migration” and the visa lottery program.

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.