Cornyn Says Democrats Hold Spending Bill Hostage on Immigration

Cornyn Says Democrats Hold Spending Bill Hostage on Immigration

Congress returns this week with the clock running down on efforts to save a program protecting young immigrants brought here illegally as children as part of the bill to keep the government funded.

Trump announced in September his plans to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but he gave lawmakers a six-month window to pass a legislative deal before the temporary work permits begin to expire at a rate of almost 1,000 per day.

The Trump administration has requested Congress to spend $18 billion over the next 10 years to build the wall. Trump expressed a willingness to be flexible in finding an agreement as Democrats warned that the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrants hung in the balance.

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a Republican, said that the session on Tuesday would not simply consist of lawmakers presenting Trump with a plan for him to reject or accept.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., suggested after the meeting that Trump is flexible.

"If we do this properly - DACA - we're not that far away from comprehensive immigration reform", the President said at one point.

"I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with", Trump said....

Representatives and senators attending the meeting with the White House are faced with tough negotiations. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said Monday. "Their voice has consistently been the power by the Freedom Caucus' ability to influence public policy".

"A clean DACA bill to me is to take care of the 800,000 people", he added.

Here's what immigration reformers are up against.

"If you don't have the wall, you don't have security", Trump told the lawmakers.

The bill also provides support for building a "smart wall", or "technology, physical barriers, levees, tools and other devices" to be used by the Department of Homeland Security at the U.S. -Mexico border, CNN reported.

"I always get a kick out of people that go down and spend a few hours [at the border] and think they know the border better than some of us there", Cuellar told Trump at a White House meeting of Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

President Donald Trump, while outlining his immigration reform demands, said Tuesday that any bill Democrats and Republicans agree to should be a "bill of love".

"Just to be clear you weren't there for the entire negotiation, because the deal didn't take place until after you guys left", Sanders said.

Immigration resonates deeply with both parties' bases, increasing the pressure on elected officials to deliver, but Republicans and Democrats have shown little sign of breaking that impasse. But in the meeting he indicated a willingness to compromise with Democrats, whose votes are needed in the narrowly divided Senate. "If they come to me with things I'mnot in love with I'm going to do it".