Democrats, Republicans and the White House have agreed to a two-step negotiation process that, they hope, will bring about solutions to the nation’s immigration problems. Congress and the president agreed to come up with a solution to the DACA program first then immediately pivot to finding a broader comprehensive immigration reform solution.
The president and members of Congress met today in the White House for 2 ½ hours to begin the negotiations. The DACA program was the first item on the agenda. The program, which protects from immigration individuals who were brought to this country illegally at a very young age, was discontinued by President Trump in October. He gave Congress 6 months to come up with a permanent solution to the program.
It quickly became evident that many members of Congress, especially Republicans, were reluctant to negotiate a permanent solution for DACA recipients without addressing border security, especially the construction of a wall along the southern border. Many lawmakers expressed the desire to find a permanent solution to comprehensive immigration reform, but warned that they did not want to find themselves in a situation three or four years from now where they had to once again find a solution to the legalization of millions of individuals who had come to this country illegally.
The meeting’s attendees agreed on four main components to any comprehensive immigration package: DACA, border security, changing the family-based immigration system and ending the visa lottery system. While no final issues were worked out during today’s meeting, there was broad agreement that a real opportunity exists to get something significant done.
President Trump pledged to lead the effort to get any plan Democrats and Republicans agree on, passed. “I’ll take the heat off the Democrats and Republicans,” the president said about any possible solution. “I will.”