US President Donald Trump and leading lawmakers came together on Tuesday as they sought to parlay an extraordinary White House meeting into momentum for resolving the politically blistering issue of immigration.
Reports of his language that referred to people of color from other countries created a fire storm of criticism from both major parties and critics overseas who said they could not be described as anything but racist.
Things were getting heated on Capitol Hill on immigration even before President Donald Trump asked lawmakers in a closed-door meeting Thursday why the U.S. was bringing in immigrants from "shithole" countries into the US.
The plan also included a path to citizenship for eligible Dreamers, and it would have extend the Temporary Protected Status, enacted in 2001, for 200,000 Salvadorans.
One attendee, No 2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of IL, said: "The sense of urgency, the commitment to DACA, the fact that the president said to me privately as well as publicly, 'I want to get this done, ' I'm going to take him at his word".
Reports of the president's language referring to people of color from the other countries drew criticism from USA lawmakers of both major parties and critics overseas who said they could not be described as anything but racist.
Trump decided in September to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: We had a meeting, and I will tell you that I'm hopeful that that meeting will maybe lead to a breakthrough and we get something done. "The President invited us to - at his little get-together in the Cabinet room - to come up with proposals, and we did". And today I know the leaders in the House and the Senate are meeting to discuss a timeline.
Without the President's buy-in, the work of the group can't reach the Senate floor, Republican leadership said.More news: Florida plagued by herpes-riddled monkeys that can kill humans
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Cotton told reporters when he returned to Capitol Hill after the White House meeting, "There is no deal".
It was Donald Trump's decision to end DACA, which protects undocumented men and women brought into the United States illegally when they were children. "I want a merit-based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level".
Or, as Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranked Republican in the Senate, put it: "Six people can't agree to something that will bind the Congress".
A senior House Republican, Representative Tom Cole, voiced similar optimism following briefings from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
"We have been working for four months and have reached an agreement in principle that addresses border security, the diversity visa lottery, chain migration/family reunification, and the Dream Act", the group of Senators said in a statement. "We have to be very clear, though, " Perdue urged.
It does not open the door to the possibility of obtaining United States citizenship, one of the key points for the opposition Democrats.
"We certainly don't think any amnesty ever is a good idea, but you also have to live in the real world where you see the administration signaling that they're willing to do some trading in order to resolve the situation", said Eric Ruark, director of research at NumbersUSA.
Trump promised to end the program during the campaign, and in announcing it was being phased out, U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions called it an unconstitutional circumvention of Congress.
"Yeah, I would like - I would like to do that", Trump said, a sentence that was omitted from the original transcript.