Trump meets with Republican senators on immigration

Key Republican senators met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday amid negotiations to reach a c...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 8:55 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 8:55 PM

Key Republican senators met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday amid negotiations to reach a compromise on border security issues and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump hosted the more conservative members of his party negotiating with Democrats in the Senate over DACA, an Obama administration policy that protected young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.

Donald Trump hosted the more conservative members of his party

Thom Tillis said negotiations had begun to focus on what Trump's priorities were

At the start of the meeting, Trump said he hopes "everything is going to work out very well," but touted the border wall he has long promised.

"I can tell you the Republicans want to see it work out very well," Trump said. "If we have support from the Democrats, I think DACA's going to be terrific. ... We need the wall, we need all of those things, and frankly, I think a lot of Democrats agree with us when they see what's happening, when they see the kind of problems we're having at the border, they really understand it. Whether they'll vote that way is another situation, but they really understand it."

Since Trump opted to terminate DACA in September, Democrats and many Republicans have pushed to make the program, which benefits young immigrants who in most cases know no other country, a permanent legislative policy -- but Trump and most Republicans have also demanded border security and increased immigration enforcement as part of a deal.

On Thursday, Trump hosted Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a border hawk; Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, who is a staunch supporter of tough immigration enforcement policies; South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has co-sponsored a bill that would protect DACA eligible immigrants with Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin; Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who has sponsored a bill that would overhaul and cut legal immigration; and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, who have sought a compromise conservatives and Democrats could live with.

During the meeting, Graham told reporters that while previous presidents had tried and failed to pass immigration reform, but that he's hopeful Trump could be different.

"Obama couldn't do it, Bush couldn't do it, I think you can do it," the South Carolina Republican told the President, in front of reporters before they were escorted out of the room. "There's a bill to be had, if you want it bad enough, we'll get it. It'll be good for the country, everybody's gotta give a little bit, but I've never been more optimistic about an immigration reform proposal making it to the President's desk than I am right now.

Not present for Thursday's meeting were Republican Sens. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, and Cory Gardner of Colorado, who have been meeting regularly with Graham, Durbin, Tillis and Lankford to reach a compromise. The White House and Gardner's offices did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether they were invited.

Flake told reporters on the Hill Thursday that he was invited but said he wanted a bipartisan meeting to address the issue. No Democratic senators were at the Thursday meeting.

"I was invited," Flake said. "I think the only - we have until the end of the month to get legislation, we've been promised a vote on the Senate floor. It does no good to just have a partisan bill. The only thing that's going to work is a bipartisan bill. It's got to have 60 votes."

On Wednesday evening, Tillis said negotiations had begun to focus on what Trump's priorities were.

"I think what we've tried to focus on is getting the feedback from the administration on what the core requirements are around border security and interior enforcement," Tillis said when asked by CNN what was accomplished over the holiday break. "We had great discussions before the holiday on trying to bridge some of the gaps between the Dream Act and the Succeed Act (which would make DACA permanent), but we felt like we reached a point to where we we had to have that broader discussion."

Democrats are pushing for DACA to be resolved before they will for any government spending package. Funding runs out January 19, and a long-term budget deal will require Democratic votes to pass.

Trump set a March 5 target date for the two-year DACA permits to begin expiring, but more than 20,000 recipients will lose their protections before then because they either opted to or could not renew in a brief window allotted in September.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
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