DACA Fix Should Be a Bipartisan 'Bill of Love'

Jan 10, 2018, 00:26
DACA Fix Should Be a Bipartisan 'Bill of Love'

U.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. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Jon Tester of Montana, as well as Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who frequently votes with Republicans on immigration and border issues - a sign that the White House is looking to pick off as many Democrats as it can even if it can't work with the party's key negotiators.

The president says he would need construction of a border security wall as part of an agreement involving young immigrants, but he says Congress could then pursue a comprehensive immigration overhaul in the second phase.

Speaking to reporters a day before a White House meeting on immigration, Cornyn said Democrats won't agree to new spending caps for domestic and defense programs that are key to writing a broad spending bill for this fiscal year.

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"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.

Lawmakers want Trump's chief of staff John Kelly, who previously served as head of the Department of Homeland Security, to be the point person on the negotiations because they want someone who understands the issue and is constantly invested in talks, the source told CNN.

"I'm still confident we can get a DACA fix". DACA has become a bargaining chip as Congress moves closer to having to pass a spending bill or shut down the government. House Majority Leaders Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., then added quickly that Republicans want security included.

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Democrats want protections for Dreamers under DACA [[ DAH-kuh ]]. "Because I respect them", he said. That's $33 billion that you, and I, and everyone you know, and everyone you don't know in this country paid into taxes because we actually believed that by paying our taxes this country was going to take care of is, and instead Trump wants to spend 33 billion of those dollars on a border wall that will literally do absolutely nothing to solve the fake problem that he believes exists.

"If you don't have the wall, you don't have security", Trump told the lawmakers. "A lot of people are coming in that we can't have", Trump added, saying he hoped for a quick solution. During the closed-door portion of the meeting, they reached an agreement to negotiate legislation that accomplishes critically needed reforms in four high-priority areas: border security, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

But lawmakers said that is not likely at Tuesday's meeting as they consider options for resolving the standoff with Trump. "I don't think it's going to be that complicated". How can the GOP give Trump a win on the wall without alienating Democrats from a bipartisan solution on DACA? Democrats have threatened to risk a shutdown if they do not get a DACA extension, although they backed off from a similar threat in December.

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