Trump, US Lawmakers Step up Talks on Immigrant ‘Dreamers’

The White House said on Thursday that President Donald Trump would hold a bipartisan meeting on U.S. immigration reform next week.

WASHINGTON: Urgent negotiations aimed at shielding young, undocumented immigrants from deportation intensified on Thursday as Republican U.S. senators emerged from a meeting with President Donald Trump expressing confidence a deal could be struck this month.

As a follow-up to the Republican-only talks on so-called “Dreamer” immigrants, Trump is inviting senators from both major parties to the White House next week. Some senators told reporters the aim was to hold the meeting on Tuesday.

“Next week the president is inviting a bipartisan group of senators to the White House to discuss the next steps on responsible immigration reform,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

For at least the past four months, Democratic and Republican senators have been meeting behind closed doors to try to fashion legislation that would protect at least 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children.

“I think we’re narrowing the differences,” Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters.

Even with evidence of progress, there were difficulties ahead.

Republicans continued to push for reigning in “chain migration” that could jeopardise the parents of Dreamers who are still in the United States illegally. And whatever deal that is cobbled together in the Senate could face opposition from hard-liners in the House of Representatives.

Some House Republicans have been clamouring to use Dreamer legislation to attach additional money for immigration enforcement throughout the country, which immigration advocacy groups fear would be used to go after the relatives of the young immigrants.

Many of these Dreamers are from Mexico and Central America and have spent most of their lives in the United States, attending school and participating in American society despite their illegal status.

By CHANNEL NEWS ASIA
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