President Donald Trump wants legislation protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients passed quickly, and he’s willing to put a hold on the border wall to get it done.
Still reaching across the aisle
Continuing a recent stretch of bipartisan negotiating, Trump met with centrist lawmakers Wednesday and promised not to tie the border wall to any amnesty legislation.
But he’s still a Republican president
And as such, he didn’t totally throw border security out the window. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told The Hill that Trump wants to include parts of the RAISE Act, a bill by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, in amnesty legislation.
The RAISE Act would:
- Institute a merit-based immigration system that favors the highly skilled and highly educated
- Cut legal immigration by half over the next 10 years
Some Democrats won’t like that
Trying to add RAISE Act provisions into a Dreamer bill could alienate a large portion of Democratic voters, potentially derailing progress on amnesty legislation. This is why it’s so hard to get large-scale immigration legislation passed.
Both sides are open, for now
House Speaker Paul Ryan met with Democratic lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on Wednesday, and an anonymous Republican source said the topic of discussion was border enforcement measures. No other details of the meeting have yet become public.
Trump met with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for dinner Wednesday night, and the Democratic leaders issued a statement expressing a willingness to “enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
How we got here
Trump ended DACA, a Barack Obama amnesty program, last week, and gave Congress a six-month grace period to figure something out so the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients aren’t deported.