Trump Pushes Compromise On Immigration

President Donald Trump leaves the White House on Friday for a weekend with Republican lawmakers at Camp David in Maryland

The comments came during a almost hour-long conversation between the roughly two dozen lawmakers, the President and White House staff that the press was allowed to record - a window into the hard negotiations that still surround the issue of replacing DACA, which protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the USA as children from deportation, and border security. The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gave safe harbor to "Dreamers", formally ends March 5, although some immigrants have already started losing their protections.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he envisages a bill to tackle the status of young undocumented immigrants would be separate from spending legislation and would include additional items.

Trump announced in September his plans to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but he gave lawmakers a six-month window to pass a legislative deal before the temporary work permits begin to expire at a rate of almost 1,000 per day.

Under pressure from immigrant groups ahead of midterm congressional elections in November, Democrats are reluctant to give ground to Trump on the issue of the wall - Trump's central promise from the 2016 presidential campaign.

"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. And, if Republicans can convince Trump to accept more money for border security overall as a win on the wall.

Separately, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Tuesday that another short-term spending bill to buy more time for negotiations is "likely".

When I wrote earlier this morning that an immigration deal was possible, I didn't realize that President Trump was about to host a White House meeting on the very subject.

Immigration resonates deeply with both parties' bases, increasing the pressure on elected officials to deliver, but Republicans and Democrats have shown little sign of breaking that impasse.

"If you want to take it that further step, I'll take the heat", Trump responded. But, he added, the program is feasible only if it comes with the long-promised border wall and changes to the immigration system, CNN reported. "And we are going to build the wall", the president said Monday at an event in Knoxville, Tennessee. But the talks are deadlocked over Trump's demands for the wall and cuts to legal immigration, including ending a diversity visa lottery and ending what the president calls "chain migration", the practice of Americans sponsoring extended family members for green cards.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "responsible immigration reform" would cover "DACA as well as those priorities and principles".

"The president exhibited, I thought, quite a bit of flexibility when the cameras weren't there in terms of what we do in this phase and the next phase - and an acknowledgment that a lot of things we want to do are going to be part of a comprehensive bill but not now", said Sen.

Trump repeatedly supported the idea of the wall, but he began the meeting saying that he would back whatever bill Congress sends him.

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