Politics Pelosi, Dems accuse GOP of moving goalposts on DACA deal

02:41  12 january  2018
02:41  12 january  2018 Source:   The Hill

Senate Republicans to meet with Trump Thursday on DACA

  Senate Republicans to meet with Trump Thursday on DACA A group of Senate Republicans are expected to meet with President Trump at the White House on Thursday as they try to get on the same page ahead of a looming fight over immigration. "We're supposed to meet at the White House tomorrow, a number of Senate Judiciary Committee members, to talk more about DACA because everybody is trying to figure out what the path forward is," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters on Wednesday.The meeting comes as Democrats are angling to include a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as part of a mid-January showdown to fund the government and avoid across-the-board budget caps.

House Democrats are amplifying their concerns with an emerging immigration agreement, accusing President Trump and Republican leaders of moving the goalposts in the 11th hour of the debate. Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees

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a close up of Nancy Pelosi © Provided by The Hill House Democrats are amplifying their concerns with an emerging immigration agreement, accusing President Trump and Republican leaders of moving the goalposts in the 11th hour of the debate.

Democrats are increasingly indignant that Republicans are insisting protections for the so-called Dreamers - immigrants brought to the country illegally as kids - be combined not only with enhanced border security, but also two additional provisions: a reduction in family migration, and a scaling back of the diversity visa program.

The top Democrats - Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) - have claimed they reached an agreement with Trump in September that included the first two elements of the package, but not the last pair.

Trump: Border wall must be part of any DACA deal

  Trump: Border wall must be part of any DACA deal President Donald Trump pressed for action on immigration Thursday, saying "our current immigration system fails Americans" and advocating for his infamous wall on the Southern Border. "Any legislation on DACA must secure the border with a wall," the president said, flanked by Republican senators who came to the White House for a meeting on the subject. He also demanded future legislation further restrict visa overstays and so-called "chain migration," and end the visa lottery — which Trump still incorrectly describes as names being picked out of a "hopper" at random.

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"The goal posts have moved," said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).

Senate negotiators - who have worked for months trying to secure a bipartisan deal protecting those eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program - said Thursday that they've secured a preliminary deal. But the rising concern from Democrats in the lower chamber - combined with early pushback from the White House - could complicate the effort to get the package across the finish line.

"I do not support diversity visas, the lottery, or any other ancillary issue that ... has been in the past a part of a larger comprehensive immigration reform package," said Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Pelosi on Thursday said she's optimistic that "a solution is in sight." But she also voiced frustrations that the terms of the initial talks have changed, largely in favor of enforcement-minded Republicans.

Why Immigration Hawks Shouldn’t Be Worried (Yet) About Trump Surrendering On DACA

  Why Immigration Hawks Shouldn’t Be Worried (Yet) About Trump Surrendering On DACA There is no rational reason he would give away DACA for nothingLoad Error

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"We, all along, were going along with what the president said: He supports the Dreamers ... and he wants to have some border security," Pelosi said Thursday during a press briefing in the Capitol. "Then this week it emerged that he wanted to change immigration policy [by] addressing family unification initiatives ... and ending the diversity visa [program].

"People were finding out for the first time that there were communities that were affected by this very directly, and we have to address those concerns."

Indeed, the changes have sparked a backlash from liberal Democrats, including some leaders and numerous members of the party's influential minority caucuses.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), former head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), said he'd likely oppose a DACA package that included sharp changes to the diversity visa program, which benefits countries with low numbers of immigrants to the United States, including many in Africa.

Trump says he will not sign immigration deal without wall funding

  Trump says he will not sign immigration deal without wall funding President Trump said Wednesday he will not sign an immigration deal that does not include funding for a border wall. "It's gotta include the wall," Trump said at a press conference with Norway's prime minister. "Any solution has to include the wall." "We need the wall for security, we need th e wall for safety, we need the wall for stopping the drugs from pouring in."Trump sought to clarify comments he made Wednesday, when he told lawmakers he would sign just about any immigration deal they put on his desk.

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Too Many Requests. Graham: 'there's a deal to be done' on DACA .

"I've learned in this business that you don't absolutely close the door on every possibility. But it's pretty darn close to a deal-breaker," Butterfield said.

Fueling the CBC's opposition is the sense among many members that the Republicans want to dismantle the diversity visa program, not out of national security concerns, but for reasons related to race.

"I don't think it's as much related to national security as it is to reducing the number of immigrants of color - black immigrants - coming into the country," Butterfield said.

"I hope I'm wrong about that, but that's what it seems to suggest."

Crowley is also pushing back hard against the emerging DACA legislation, arguing that anything outside the Dreamer protections should be debated later as part of a larger comprehensive immigration reform package.

"I will reserve my judgment on that when I see the bill itself, [but] I have strong opposition to including diversity visas and family unification - any changes to those laws - as it pertains to the passage of DACA. I don't think it belongs here," Crowley said Thursday.

Arpaio on DACA recipients: 'Deport them'

  Arpaio on DACA recipients: 'Deport them' Former Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio said he thinks recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be deported. "Deport them," Arpaio told NPR's "Morning Edition" in an interview airing Thursday morning."When we come across these kids, or some are older than just kids," Arpaio said, "then deport them. You deport them back to the country they came from."Arpaio said that DACA recipients have education in the U.S. and can be "good ambassadors from the United States to their country.""That's just my idea," he said during the interview.

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"This is being hoisted now at the last minute by the Republicans who don't want to see anything passed."

Complicating the debate, a group of conservative House Republicans introduced a DACA bill on Wednesday that won quick praise from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who suggested it will reach the floor in short order.

"I think it is a good bill," Ryan told reporters Thursday. "It's important that we start putting ideas on the table."

Sponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Mike McCaul (R-Texas), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), the GOP proposal is a wish-list for conservative immigration hardliners, eliminating the diversity visa program, curbing chain migration, and reducing numbers of legal immigrants while providing new funding for a border wall and tougher interior enforcement.

Pelosi pronounced the bill dead-on-arrival even in the House, where the Republicans enjoy a commanding majority. She predicted half of the Republicans would oppose it, and all of the Democrats.

"Do you think Democrats are going to vote for that bill? That's completely out of the question," she said.

"It has no prospect for success. Zero."

Washington Careens Toward Trump's 'Good Shutdown' .
<p>Friday marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump taking the oath of office, and unless lawmakers can eke out a deal in the coming days, it could also mark the first government shutdown under his watch, and under unified one-party control in Washington.</p>Trump declared back in May that the country “needs a good shutdown” to “fix mess,” and amid uncertainty that lawmakers and the White House can agree on a path forward on government funding, immigration, or health care, a shutdown is becoming a tangible possibility.

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