Trump hails immigration plan at homeland security meeting

Feb 04, 2018, 02:08
Trump hails immigration plan at homeland security meeting

"We'll either have something that's fair and equitable and good and secure, or we're going to have nothing at all", he told his fellow Republicans.

Many of those immigrants are now shielded from deportation under an Obama-era program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that gives them the ability to apply for temporary legal status and work permits. "I really am not happy with the way it's going from the standpoint of the Democrats", he said.

In a second tweet, the president lashed out at Democrats again, writing that a March 5 deadline he gave Congress to legalize the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program is "rapidly approaching", adding "Democrats are doing nothing about DACA".

The President, in remarks at a Republican congressional retreat in West Virginia, knocked Democrats for a lack of applause during his State of the Union address and sought to shift the onus of reaching an immigration deal on the opposing party. The impasse sparked a brief federal shutdown last month.

Trump also sought to pushback on Democrats framing of the immigration discussions as working to protect "Dreamers", a term used to refer to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, a program that protected undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

In his speech Thursday, as he did during his State of the Union address Tuesday, Trump dismissed the "dreamer" lingo and appeared to urge lawmakers to avoid the term. To end the government shutdown last month, Schumer agreed to a deal with McConnell that called for the Senate to immediately take up DREAMer legislation if there is no broader accord by February 8. It's not Dreamers. Don't fall into that trap.

At the GOP retreat, immigration was not officially on the agenda.

Trump says Democrats "can't even approve citizenship".

Many Democrats have slammed Trump's framework.

"I think that if we can solve DACA and border security that may be the best I can hope for", Senator John Thune, a member of the Republican leadership, told reporters.

More: House Republicans are retiring in droves.

Trump is insisting that any immigration bill that reaches his desk have four components: Legal status for DREAMers with a path to citizenship in 10 to 12 years; $25 billion for border security; limits to family-based reunification, which he calls "chain migration", and an end to the diversity visa lottery system, which gives preferences to many Irish, Polish and African immigrants.

But that Trump was gone before 7 a.m. Thursday. "They talk a good game with DACA, but they don't produce".

With Trump now pushing for a vote on the White House's proposal, there are a number of ways McConnell could deliver on both of those priorities.

Republicans, who control Congress, are undecided on what to do about DACA and the Dreamers.

The House of Representatives plans to vote on Tuesday on legislation to keep federal agencies operating beyond February 8, when existing funds expire, a senior House Republican aide said. "But the other stuff, if the stakes get raised and then other issues enter the conversation it gets more complicated, and it gets harder to pass in the House".

"They sat there stone cold", Trump said.

In the Senate, where GOP leaders will need Democratic votes to advance any immigration bill, there has been more appetite for a compromise bill. He emerged from a meeting earlier this week with top House and Senate lawmakers and Trump administration officials with no progress to report in the talks.

The fate of the short-term bill will hinge on broader budget negotiations.

About 700,000 young immigrants signed up for Obama's DACA protections.

With another fiscal deadline looming, Republican leaders said Thursday the House and Senate would vote on a fifth short-term spending bill next week to keep the government open past February 8, when current federal funding runs out.

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