Toronto Star

Trump wants help for some undocument­ed immigrants — and a border wall


WASHNGTON— U.S. President Donald Trump declared Tuesday he wants Congress to pass a “bill of love” to protect younger undocument­ed immigrants from deportatio­n, but he reiterated his demands for a border wall and cuts to legal immigratio­n that Democrats have opposed.

Ahead of a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers at the White House, Trump challenged them to “put country before party” in his push to tighten border-control laws in exchange for providing legal status to immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, a group known as “dreamers.”

Lawmakers in both parties have said they are waiting for the Trump White House to specify its demands before the negotiatio­ns can move forward. But at the meeting, Trump insisted he would support any deal negotiator­s in Congress agree on.

“My position is going to be what the people in this room come up with,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for people on both sides. What I approve will be very much reliant on what people in this room come to me with. If they come to me with things not in love with I’m going to do it.”

Lawmakers are facing a March 5 deadline, set by Trump, before the bulk of nearly 700,000 work permits issued to the dreamers under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program begin to expire in bulk. Trump terminated the program in September but gave lawmakers six months to develop a legislativ­e solution.

But negotiator­s have been at an impasse over how to proceed. Democrats and some moderate Republican­s are eyeing a Jan. 19 deadline for a must-pass government spending deal as leverage to get a deal done on DACA. But the talks are deadlocked over Trump’s demands for the wall and cuts to legal immigratio­n.

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