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: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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