Kelly told Dems some of Trump's immigration promises were 'uninformed'
19 January, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Keith Rowe
"Kelly elaborated in an interview later with Fox News, saying that the Republican president's views have evolved". White House Chief of Staff John Kelly met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and expressed vague optimism about prospects - but attendees said Kelly would not commit to supporting one bipartisan proposal, introduced Tuesday by Rep.
White House chief of staff John Kelly said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's stance on immigration has evolved since he announced his presidential aspirations, which includes softening his stance on building a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
After meeting with border security experts, Kelly said Trump's policy on the border wall "has evolved".
He wrote: "The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never meant to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water".
Some have previously pointed out that the southern neighbor will not pay a cent for the border wall.
He said the U.S. needs a wall "to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most risky country in the world".
"The $20 billion dollar Wall is "peanuts" compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!" he said, reasserting his position on the trade pact which is now being renegotiated.
It was during Oval Office negotiations over a potential DACA replacement last week that, in the course of dismissing one deal negotiated by Senate Democrats and Republicans, Trump used a vulgar word to describe African countries and wondered why the US doesn't get more immigrants from places like Norway.
Bipartisan Senate negotiators have come to terms on a deal to protect "dreamers", as young immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children are known.
"I worked to get the six-month extension of DACA", Kelly said, according to sources present at the meeting.
However, as NPR's Kelsey Snell reports, there's no immediate sign of a breakthrough on the issue, as Democrats insist that DACA is part of any deal to keep the government funded past a Friday deadline and conservatives "say they can't support any spending bill that paves the way for a future immigration deal that could favor Democrats".
Another lawmaker, Rep. Luis, Gutierrez, D-Ill., said Kelly told them that "there were statements made about the wall that were not informed statements".
The president added: "We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country".
Kelly indicated that the President would want to protect current DACA recipients, and Curbelo said he was "very confident" that the President would accept including a path to citizenship after his meeting.
"We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most risky country in the world".
In the meantime, the White House is rejecting Sen.
"He has, uh, changed the way he has looked at a number of things", Kelly said Wednesday. "This is - you know, we can talk about this, but that's where he is". Later adding: "One thing is to campaign, another thing is to govern".
Also, the chief of staff said the government was focussing on the situation of Dreamers - undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children - whose protection from deportation lapses in March, unless Congress can reinstate it through a legislation that is the subject of intense debate and negotiations. "We do that, and I'll probably hold my nose", said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., who voted against the previous continuing resolution.
Many Democrats have said that without an immigration deal in sight, they'll vote against a Republican bill preventing a weekend government shutdown. Protesters have rallied at offices of Senate Democrats, threatened primary foes for those who don't push hard enough for an immigration deal and promised to brand those deemed to have fallen short "the deportation caucus".
Sanders put the blame on Senate Democrats if the government is shut down, due to their insistence on a bill to fix DACA. Despite the Republican majority in Congress, nine votes are needed from Senate Democrats in order to pass a solution.
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