GOP Sees Possible DACA Deal as Trump Bemoans Sticking Points

Frederick Owens
January 22, 2018

"We're talking about 800,000 kids who came here, no fault of their own", said Gutierrez, who fled his native Cuba for Miami at 6 years old.

While many politicians use DREAMer and DACA interchangeably, the terms are "not a distinction without a difference", said House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "You've got a mountain and rivers, you got a violent river", Trump said, adding that he would "like to build (it) under budget, ahead of schedule". That means assuming that if DACA expires without a fix, the administration will be aggressive about deportations, the Senate will remain Republican, judicial stopgaps will fail, a Republican will win the White House in 2020, hundreds of thousands will be pushed into the shadows and many tens of thousands will be rounded up, detained and ejected from the country. Trump: Why should the U.S accept immigrants from "shithole" countries?

The president and Congress are attempting to reach a deal on comprehensive immigration reform as part of a federal spending bill that Congress must pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

Senator David Purdue, a Republican from Georgia, called charges that Trump is racist "ridiculous" and his reported remarks a "gross misrepresentation" of the White House meeting on immigration.

Also complicating matters on DACA has been the war of words from both parties on what exactly the President said during an immigration meeting last week, in which he reportedly made clear he did not favor more immigration from African nations and the island of Haiti. He said Durbin and Republican Sen. "We have a lot of sticking points, but they are all Democrat sticking points".

President Donald Trump said Sunday that a program that shields young people brought to the United States illegally from deportation is "probably dead", blaming Democrats for it.

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Trump said in the meeting that he would prefer immigrants from countries like Norway instead.

The legal stay, he said, allows many of those who have recently fallen out of residency status or who may soon do so to submit and receive new two-year extensions - and brings what he believes is some breathing room for congressional Democrats trying to craft a deal. Indeed, it is precisely because of Trump's anti-illegal-immigration bona fides that he may be able to deliver what Republican and Democratic presidents before him could not. Senator Durbin has it. Senator Perdue does not. Joe Manchin, a red state Democrat from West Virginia, said on CBS's "Face the Nation".

Relations between key Republican and Democratic lawmakers have soured over whether Trump made the comment during last week's meeting. The report was denied by the Obama administration's spokesman later. Dick Durbin, who was at the White House meeting, said Friday that the President "said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly".

"Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?" he asked. Some deal only with those who entered the country before their 16th birthday. "They only put in about one-tenth of what the Department of Homeland Security said they needed - not what they said they wanted, but what they said they needed".

Now it should be said that immigration is just about the only policy issue that Trump has reasonably consistent opinions about. Attempts at immigration reform have failed repeatedly because extreme voices on both sides carry the debate and make compromise politically hard.

The current Republican position seems to be summed up in what Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said on Sunday that he had spoken to the participants of the meeting right after it ended and before Trump was accused of saying that phrase, and he confirmed that they (the participants) said the words were used.

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