Trump, Key Lawmakers Negotiating Immigration Policies

The problem is that Democrats are "slow walking" the negotiations, trying to force Republicans to accept a deal that would legalize 800,000 children of illegal aliens eligible for the DACA program.

The bipartisan meeting over DACA on Tuesday faces challenges as Republicans and Democrats try to reach consensus on a spending bill by a January 19 deadline.

As Congress inches closer to a deal that would provide a solution for the almost 800,000 undocumented immigrants now in the US under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program paired with a $US33 billion border security plan that would include funding for a wall along the almost 2,000 miles of US-Mexico border, some Republicans want nothing to do with a compromise.

It would not offer the young illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

"You need the wall".

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With 11 days to go before a threatened government shut down, Republicans involved in negotiations on a spending deal are becoming increasingly pessimistic that an agreement can be reached. Wall funding wasn't included in a stopgap year-end funding bill, nor was it ever considered when Democrats thought they'd struck a deal on DACA with Trump this fall. "The parents that we presume they brought them here that we're not talking about now, they don't wanna deport them either". Congress has until March 5 to salvage the Obama-era program and protect an estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrants who grew up in the USA from deportation.

The wall now represents a complicated political question for Republicans and Democrats.

Since so many Americans agree on their contributions to the country, fixing the program that protects them "should be easy", he said, but instead "these young people find themselves stuck in the middle of a much broader debate about border walls, national security and the inner workings of our visa system". DACA has allowed them to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and get a work permit. The source said Trump told them beforehand the press would come in for the top.

But despite that initial promise seen in Kelly, lawmakers have since felt a series of disheartening decisions has changed that calculus - including the decision to end DACA while he was chief of staff and a series of decisions to end Temporary Protected Status by the administration since - including reporting that he was involved in calling acting Secretary Elaine Duke and pressuring her on the Honduras TPS decision, which Duke later denied.

Ultimately, the meeting concluded with a two-phase solution that pairs a DACA bill with funds for the wall and punts comprehensive immigration reform to Congress at a later date. "If they come to me with things not in love with I'm going to do it". Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a 2013 immigration reform veteran.

  • Megan Austin