Lawmakers are facing a March 5 deadline, set by Trump, before the bulk of almost 700,000 work permits issued to the dreamers under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program begin to expire in bulk.
Republican lawmakers previewed a bill to permanently establish the DACA program, fund a border wall, end chain migration and end the visa lottery program.
Congress has less than two weeks - until January 19 - to potentially pass a budget deal to lift spending caps and a governmentwide funding package that funds the rest of the fiscal year.
Some Republicans do not want to grant a pathway to citizenship to undocumented immigrants under DACA. "And we need to have this conversation".
President Donald Trump's 55-minute televised meeting on immigration with bipartisan lawmakers on Tuesday gave the public a raw look into the president's negotiating tactics and understanding of public policy. (Imagine if they had to talk about something like health care.) At one point, Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein proposes that they pass a bill to formalize deferred action for child arrivals (DACA). "The parents that we presume they brought them here that we're not talking about now, they don't wanna deport them either". That judge also said that lawyers have a strong chance of succeeding at trial as the underlying case is still playing out.
For Dreamers, the bill would grant them a new legal status with three-year work permits and the right to travel outside the USA - a congressionally approved enhanced version of the current DACA program - but no special pathway to citizenship.
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Kelly often discussed being open to meeting with Democrats as much as Republicans, and spoke of sympathy toward the DACA population.
A compromise - with protection for the young immigrants, often called Dreamers by their advocates, and some enhanced border security, without construction of the wall - could eventually be reached.
But despite that initial promise seen in Kelly, lawmakers have since felt a series of disheartening decisions has changed that calculus - including the decision to end DACA while he was chief of staff and a series of decisions to end Temporary Protected Status by the administration since - including reporting that he was involved in calling acting Secretary Elaine Duke and pressuring her on the Honduras TPS decision, which Duke later denied. "We are dealing with this problem today because Congress has failed to enforce our laws and secure our borders".
"If those things are in place when the DACA recipients get their benefits, I think most of these members would have ample cover", Mehlman said.
Then, Trump claimed, comprehensive immigration reform could be easy.