McConnell says DACA bill would include some other items

McConnell says DACA bill would include some other items

McConnell says DACA bill would include some other items

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump opened up the curtain of Washington negotiations as he invited the press to stay for almost an hour and broadcast a Cabinet Room meeting with Democratic and Republican lawmakers Wednesday.

Their bill provides a way to enact DACA through legislation instead of as an Obama Administration order that Trump declined to renew in September, giving DACA its current March end date.

"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.

Dick Durbin of IL, the No.2 Democrat in the Senate, has criticized the request made by the administration for wall and border security spending.

"The president exhibited, I thought, quite a bit of flexibility when the cameras weren't there in terms of what we do in this phase and the next phase - and an acknowledgment that a lot of things we want to do are going to be part of a comprehensive bill but not now", said Sen. DACA has become a bargaining chip as Congress moves closer to having to pass a spending bill or shut down the government.

Lawmakers in both parties are digging in before the meeting among President Donald Trump, top administration officials and 20 lawmakers from both parties to see if they can agree on an immigration deal that would include protection for the young immigrants.

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

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"Sitting next to that President and listening him explain the wall, it was explained in so many different to how long is was, what it was like, how tall it was, whether it was really a fence", Durbin said after the meeting Tuesday. "I think that's basically what Dick [Durbin (D-IL)] said". Those issues include efforts to nix some forms of legal immigration such as family reunification, called "chain migration" by Trump and other opponents, and the green card diversity lottery system.

"If you don't have the wall, you don't have security", Trump told the lawmakers.

But then a few minutes later, Trump said DACA could come first and reform could come down the road, or immediately after.

Ahead of a bipartisan meeting at the White House Tuesday, the question is becoming whether Democrats can accept some version of a wall (albeit they'd call it something else) in exchange for protections for those who are eligible for DACA. "I don't think it's going to be that complicated".

But immigrants' rights activists concede any eventual DACA agreement will need Trump's support to make it palatable to Republicans.

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