Trump urges bi­par­ti­san fix for young im­mi­grants

Porterville Recorder - - THE RECORD - By JILL COLVIN

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump told law­mak­ers Wed­nes­day that he’s open to sign­ing leg­is­la­tion pro­tect­ing thou­sands of young im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion even if the bill does not include fund­ing for his promised bor­der wall. But Trump re­mains com­mit­ted to build­ing a bar­rier along the U.s.-mex­i­can bor­der, even if Democrats say it’s a non-starter.

Dur­ing a White House meet­ing with mod­er­ate House mem­bers from both par­ties, Trump urged law­mak­ers to come up with a bi­par­ti­san so­lu­tion for the nearly 800,000 young peo­ple who had been pro­tected from de­por­ta­tion and given the right to work legally in the coun­try un­der for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals, or DACA, pro­gram.

Trump ended the pro­gram ear­lier this month and has given Congress six months to come up with a leg­isla­tive fix be­fore the so-called “Dream­ers”’ sta­tuses be­gin to ex­pire.

“We don’t want to for­get DACA,” Trump told the mem­bers at the meet­ing. “We want to see if we can do some­thing in a bi­par­ti­san fash­ion so that we can solve the DACA prob­lem and other im­mi­gra­tion prob­lems.”

As part of that ef­fort, Trump said he would not in­sist on ty­ing ex­tend­ing DACA pro­tec­tions to wall fund­ing, as long as a fi­nal bill in­cluded “some sort of bor­der se­cu­rity,” said Demo­cratic Rep. Henry Cuel­lar of Texas, who at­tended the meet­ing.

“He said, ‘We don’t have to have the wall on this bill,”’ re­called Cuel­lar. “He said: ‘We can put that some­where else, like ap­pro­pri­a­tions or some­where.’ But that was very sig­nif­i­cant be­cause a lot of us don’t want to tie DACA and the wall. We’re not go­ing to split the baby on that one. So he him­self said, ‘We’re not go­ing to put the wall tied into this.”’

Trump has made a sud­den pivot to bi­par­ti­san­ship af­ter months of rail­ing against Democrats as “ob­struc­tion­ist.” He has urged them to join him in over­haul­ing the na­tion’s tax code, among other pri­or­i­ties.

Trump, who was deeply dis­ap­pointed by Repub­li­cans’ fail­ure to pass a health care over­haul, in­fu­ri­ated many in his party when he reached a three-month deal with Se­nate Demo­cratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Demo­cratic Leader Pelosi to raise the debt ceil­ing, keep the gov­ern­ment run­ning and speed re­lief to states af­fected by re­cent hur­ri­canes.

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