Trump suggests 2-phase immigration deal for 'Dreamers'

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President Donald Trump met with a bipartisan group of Congress members at the White House on Tuesday in an effort to revive stalled talks over immigration, urging lawmakers to pass a "bill of love" to protect some undocumented immigrants from deportation. Instead, the guest list is set to include lawmakers from both parties involved in the immigration debate, such as Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Senator Dick Durbin of IL, a Democrat.

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.

"I think it's a mistake to think of the border wall as a standalone", Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said Monday.

"I don't think we're just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it", said Sen.

"Trump ran on this issue", GOP strategist Greg Mueller said of border security. "And if there's other elements that have to be included in a broader deal to get signed into law, this is a foundation for that conversation".

"I feel having the Democrats in with us is absolutely vital because it should be a bipartisan bill".

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

Grassley said that if they do not have good faith negotiations and get to an agreement within days, they will have to bring up "either the House bill or the bill that some of [them] ... introduced in the United States Senate". 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.

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.

He criticized chain migration and visa lotteries for the way they fail to ensure quality people immigrate to the United States, saying people who end up in lotteries are the "worst of the worst".

"Drugs are pouring into our country at a record pace, a lot of people are coming in that we can't have", Trump said. "I'll take all the heat you want to give me, and I'll take the heat off both the Democrats and the Republicans".

But then a few minutes later, Trump said DACA could come first and reform could come down the road, or immediately after. "Whatever it includes to make the border secure I am going to be for". He said Democrats support border security "which means many things to many people and maybe different things to different people". Congressional aides reported that party leaders are informed of their proposal to let certain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, which ended in September 2017, ultimately get permanent or conditional residence and potentially qualify for USA citizenship.

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