Trump Calls for Immigration Reform ‘Bill of Love’

By Melanie Arter | January 9, 2018 | 7:57pm EST
President Donald Trump and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) (Screenshot of White House video)

( - During a bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the immigration reform bill must be “a bill of love” that addresses DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), ends chain migration, secures the border by building a wall, and cancels the visa lottery program.

During the closed-door portion of the meeting, congressional leaders “reached an agreement to negotiate legislation that accomplishes critically needed reforms in four high-priority areas: border security, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

“We are here today to advance bipartisan immigration reform that serves the needs of the American families, workers, and taxpayers. It's DACA. We've been talking about DACA for a long time. I've been hearing about it for years, long before I decided to go into this particular line of work, and maybe we can do something,” Trump told reporters during the meeting.

“We have a lot of good people in this room. A lot of people that have a great spirit for taking care of the people we represent -- we all represent. For that reason, any legislation on DACA, we feel -- at least a strong part of this group feels -- has to accomplish three vital goals,” he said.

Having Democrats take part in the process “is absolutely vital,” the president said, “because it should be a bipartisan bill.”

“It should be a bill of love. Truly, it should be a bill of love, and we can do that, but it also has to be a bill where we're able to secure our border,” Trump said.

“Drugs are pouring into our country at a record pace and a lot of people are coming in that we can't have. We've greatly stiffened, as you know, and fewer people are trying to come in, but we have tremendous numbers of people and drugs pouring into our country,” the president said.

“So, in order to secure it, we need a wall. We need closing enforcement -- we have to close enforcement loopholes. Give immigration officers -- and these are tremendous people, the border security agents, the ICE agents -- we have to give them the equipment they need. We have to close loopholes, and this really does include a very strong amount of different things for border security,” he said.

He said everyone in the room can agree on the importance of border security, and that the only question is the amount.

“Second, it has to be a bill to end chain migration. Chain migration is bringing in many, many people with one, and often it doesn't work out very well. Those many people are not doing us right, and I think a lot of people in the room -- and I'm not sure I can speak for everybody, but a lot of the people in this room want to see chain migration ended,” Trump said.

“And the other is -- cancel the lottery program. They call it ‘visa lottery.’I just call it ‘lottery,’ but countries come in and they put names in a hopper. They're not giving you their best names,” the president said.

“Common sense means they're not giving you their best names. They're giving you people that they don't want, and then we take them out of the lottery, and when they do it by hand -- where they put the hand in a bowl -- they're probably -- what's in their hand are the worst of the worst,” he said.

“But they put people that they don't want into a lottery and the United States takes those people. And again, they're going back to that same person who came in through the lottery program,” Trump added.

The president said he met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week and the Border Patrol told him they “desperately need the wall.”

“And we don't need a 2,000-mile wall. We don't need a wall where you have rivers and mountains and everything else protecting it, but we do need a wall for a fairly good portion. We also -- as you know, it was passed in 2006 -- a essentially similar thing, which -- a fence, a very substantial fence was passed, but, unfortunately, I don't know, they never got it done, but they need it,” Trump said.

“So I'm appealing to everyone in the room to put the country before party, and to sit down and negotiate and to compromise, and let's see if we can get something done.  I really think that we have a chance to do it.  I think it's very important.  You're talking about 800,000 people -- and we're talking about lots of other people are also affected, including people that live in our country. That's from the security standpoint,” he said.


MRC Store