Trump praised the "distinguished group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers" in the room and repeated his immigration priorities to improve border security, end chain migration, and build a border wall. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. "But the sense of urgency, the commitment to DACA, the fact that the president said to me privately as well as publicly, 'I want to get this done, ' I'm going to take him as his word".
DACA - an acronym referring to the Obama-era directive known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program - granted temporary work authorization and deportation relief in two-year increments for certain undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. Democrats and Republicans are set to resume negotiations Wednesday.
"We're certainly open to talking about a number of other issues when it comes to immigration, but right now this administration is focused on those four things and that negotiation, and not a lot else at this front". "If they come to me with things I'm not in love with, I'm going to do it".
Trump had previously declared several times that any legislation on DACA would have to include funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border and major changes to legal immigration categories.
As Congress and the White House negotiate a deal to legalize almost 800,000 undocumented DREAMers brought to the U.S.as children, they aren't facing the usual pressure from hard-line groups lobbying for lower immigration levels. Trump said, "it should be a bill of love". Democrats have suggested they would risk a government shutdown if spending bills do not include a measure that helps the almost 800,000 DACA beneficiary population.
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The immigration talks at the White House are occurring as Trump and Congress face a January 19 deadline to reach agreement on US government spending through the end of September, after they already were forced three times to agree on temporary budget plans when they were unable to reach a longer-term deal. "But you are not that far away from comprehensive immigration reform".
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 United States without fear of deportation.
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 of IL, the No.2 Democrat in the Senate, has criticized the request made by the administration for wall and border security spending. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., one of the most vulnerable Democrats, cautioned that she's not yet seen details, but said there was "certainly a border security package I could accept".
The discussions are taking place in the aftermath of Trump's public blow-up with former campaign and White House adviser Steve Bannon, one of the architects of Trump's calls for the border wall.
Among the legislative challenges Republicans face: Any eventual plan must garner enough Democratic support to make it through the Senate. And yeah, they're going to have border patrols there to make sure that doesn't happen, just like we already have now that clearly isn't stopping the problem enough for republicans.