Trump just held an extraordinary public negotiation with Congress on immigration

10 January, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Phil Peters
  • Scott Olson  Getty Images

"I'm appealing to everyone in the room to put the country before party and to sit down and to negotiate and to compromise", Trump said in unusually diplomatic rhetoric while hosting an immigration meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House. "And if you take it that further step, I'll take the heat, I don't care".

Congressional leaders have until March 5 to restore deportation protections and work permits for DREAMers after President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established by President Barack Obama. Democrats and Republicans are set to resume negotiations Wednesday.

It is unclear if Trump is going to demand Congress include funding for the wall he envisions running along the U.S. -Mexico border as part of any border security bill, but he appeared to indicate it is part and parcel with what he views to be border security when he said "if you don't have a wall, you can not have security". "They've made a decision not to go forward on that until we get closer or get a DACA deal".

These discussions are part of broader talks on protecting Dreamers and enacting additional immigration law changes, including beefed up border security. They're people not legally in the United States who were younger than 31 in 2012, came to this country when they were younger than 16 and have lived in the United States since 2007. This border wall is not only a waste of money, it is a bullhorn, not just a dog whistle, but a freakin' bull horn, to white nationalist all over the United States letting them know that they have a president that's got their back, and that's disgusting.

"We need a wall", Trump said, during the long exchange with lawmakers.

At a White House meeting with Republican and Democratic members of Congress Tuesday, Sen.

On Tuesday, Trump said he would agree to anything the lawmakers he met with agreed to.

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"If we do this properly - DACA - we're not that far away from comprehensive immigration reform", the President said at one point.

Republicans charge that Democrats have all but halted talks on spending caps until there is a resolution on DACA, which gives undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children a chance to stay, work or study in the USA without fear of deportation. "I don't think it's going to be that complicated".

"It was clear in the meeting that "wall" did not mean a structure", said Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat.

Republicans were adamant that Trump's call "means the wall", but noted Trump acknowledged it doesn't need to cover the entire length of the border because of geographic barriers. Dick Durbin, D- Ill. told Trump he would find Democratic support on some elements of border security.

The administration also wants enhanced enforcement measures, including a boost in the number of border agents and an end to family-based or "chain" migration and the diversity visa lottery system. Trump added to the GOP demands on Friday by requesting $18 billion over 10 years to reinforce or expand the border wall with Mexico to fulfill his signature campaign promise - though without Mexico paying the tab, as he vowed.

"Republicans voters, grassroots activists want border security first, it's very important to them, they're very clear about that", said Texas Republican strategist Brendan Steinhauser, who has worked for Cornyn and Sen.

"[Trump] can call it anything he wants", Blumenthal added, but Democrats will support only smarter border security, such as improved surveillance in the form of drones and border personnel. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., one of the attendees.



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