President Trump promised Tuesday to sign what he called a “bill of love” to extend protections to 800,000 immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children and now are under protection by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, if Congress can work out the details.
“You folks are going to have to come up with a solution,” Trump told 25 lawmakers in a remarkable televised negotiation at the White House. “And if you do, I’m going to sign that solution.”
But funding for a wall along the border with Mexico remains a sticking point, as Trump insisted that border security remain a part of any deal.
White House Meeting On Immigration to Include Cory Gardner and Likely Michael Bennet
U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner of Colorado are both likely to attend a meeting Tuesday at the White House to discuss immigration, but expectations are low that the conference will lead to a breakthrough in negotiations.
Bennet, a Democrat, and Gardner, a Republican, each have said they want to prevent the deportation of young immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
Trump, however, wants to bind together any protection for young immigrants with new security measures, including billions of dollars for a wall on the Mexican border that was the centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump Promises to “Take the Heat” for Broad Immigration Deal
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was ready to accept an onslaught of criticism if lawmakers tackle broad immigration reforms after an initial deal to help the young illegal immigrants known as Dreamers and build a wall on the U. S. border with Mexico.
Trump told lawmakers at the White House he would back a two-phased approach to overhauling U. S. immigration laws with the first step focused on protecting immigrants who were brought here as children from deportation along with funding for a wall and other restrictions that Democrats have opposed.
Once that is done, Trump said, he favors moving quickly to address even more contentious issues, including a possible pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants that is opposed by many Republicans and many of his supporters.
Trump to Meet Republican and Democratic Lawmakers in Search for a Compromise On Immigration
- S. President Donald Trump will meet on Tuesday with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in an uphill search for an election-year compromise on protecting thousands of young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Trump and his Republicans, who control the U. S. Congress, and the Democrats seem far apart on an agreement as they gird for midterm congressional elections in November. Trump says he wants any immigration deal to include funding for a border wall with Mexico and a tightening of immigration restrictions while democrats want a deal to help the estimated 700,000 young immigrants.
But, under pressure from immigrant groups, they are reluctant to give ground to Trump on the issue of the wall, his central promise from the 2016 presidential campaign.
House GOP Presses Harder-Line Goodlatte Immigration Bill
GOP support is building for an immigration bill authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (Republican for Virginia) as House Republicans seek to avoid getting jammed by the White House and Senate.
The Goodlatte bill would call for more aggressive enforcement measures and would address thousands of young undocumented immigrants whose fate has been in limbo for months.
It has attracted support from both the moderate and conservative wings of the 239-member House Republican Conference, including centrist Rep. Martha McSally (Arizona) and the Freedom Caucus’s Rep. Raúl Labrador (Idaho). There are doubts, however, that it could clear the Senate, senior lawmakers said.
Stephen Miller Calls for an Immigration System that “Produces More Assimilation”
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on Monday voiced support for an immigration system that favors foreign nationals who can become “more” assimilated into American culture.
Miller pushed the White House message on immigration reform, calling for a border wall and an end to “chain” migration, the process by which an immigrant can petition to bring family members to the United States, as well as the adjustment of the country’s visa lottery system.
He said Democrats, who are fighting for a new plan on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, need to face reality and “ultimately have to make a choice” as the Jan. 19 spending bill battle approaches.