President Trump made progress Tuesday on the immigration debate that threatens a government shutdown next week, but there’s still a long way to go to strike a deal.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers emerged from a two-hour meeting with the president saying that they made significant progress negotiating a fix to soon-to-expire temporary amnesty for “Dreamers.”
Both sides touted the agreement to limit negotiations to four issues: Dreamers, border security, chain migration and the visa diversity lottery.
A smaller bipartisan group will meet again Wednesday with Mr. Trump to further pursue negotiations.
Significant differences remained, especially over Mr. Trump’s demand for funding to build a border wall. Democrats voiced staunch opposition to the plan, saying other security measures would do a better job.
There is widespread agreement on both sides of the aisle about the urgent need to address the fate of Dreamers. Their temporary legal status, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is set to expire in March.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said a DACA fix must include strong border measures to prevent a continued influx of illegal immigrant children.
“We don’t want to be back here in two years,” he said, insisting the solution be “generational.”
White House officials allowed reporters and television cameras to record the discussion for nearly an hour, an extraordinary amount of access even for Mr. Trump, who has often granted the media lengthy time in meetings.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, tweeted after the session, “Most fascinating meeting I’ve been involved with in twenty plus years in politics.”
Republican strategist Ana Navarro observed on Twitter, “This bipartisan immigration meeting, and Trump’s interactions in it, all of it is quite extraordinary.”
• Dave Boyer contributed to this report
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