Trump to meet lawmakers in search for immigration compromise

President Donald Trump held a rare open meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Tuesday allowing the press to watch legislative sausage being made firsthand

Hoyer said Trump himself mentioned fences and technology. Democrats and some moderate Republicans are eying a January 19 deadline for a must-pass government spending deal as leverage to get a deal done on DACA.

Ten Democratic Senate seats are up in states Trump won in 2016. Sen. Congressional aides reported that party leaders are informed of their proposal to let certain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, which ended in September 2017, ultimately get permanent or conditional residence and potentially qualify for US citizenship. The source said Trump told them beforehand the press would come in for the top.

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.

While the government-contracted wall prototypes have risen near the border in San Diego, the Trump administration has so far not made significant progress on the much larger - and costlier - undertaking of funding and constructing a border wall.

A Republican candidate has dropped out of the race to represent New Mexico in the United States House of Representatives.

"If we don't fight like hell on this, some people in our base are going to say, 'Why bother?'" said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, a leading pro-immigration advocacy group. "President Donald Trump is going to have to bless a deal, [and] that is a formidable challenge". John Cornyn, R-Texas, said at the time.

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During a wide-ranging conversation with lawmakers, Trump stressed he needs funding for a border wall and changes to the immigration system. "We want to drill down and see if there is some room for negotiations", a White House official said. "Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about", he said, implying that the wall was little more than a well-marketed concept created to appeal to his voter base. Ruark's group wants DACA negotiations to focus on a proposal to hold employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants - above immigration enforcement. Nothing gets done on the budget until the prospect of political damage stares them in the face. And, if Republicans can convince Trump to accept more money for border security overall as a win on the wall.

When I wrote earlier this morning that an immigration deal was possible, I didn't realize that President Trump was about to host a White House meeting on the very subject.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. suggested an "easy way out" of the stalemate. Yes, but Mexico will pay.

"We are going to build the wall", Trump said in a speech on Monday in Nashville, Tennessee.

"You can put the most handsome wall out there and it's not going to stop them", Cuellar remarked.

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