Trump: DACA Fix Should Be a Bipartisan ‘Bill of Love’

President emphasizes need to improve border security in parallel

• January 9, 2018 3:01 pm


President Donald Trump held a bipartisan meeting on Tuesday at the White House to discuss immigration reform and border security, and he opened it with a call for compromise.

Trump praised the "distinguished group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers" in the room and repeated his immigration priorities to improve border security, end chain migration, and build a border wall. He added, however, that both parties should pass a "bill of love" to ensure Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients continue to be protected, while also ensuring national security.

"I feel having the Democrats in with us is absolutely vital because it should be a bipartisan bill. It should be a bill of love," Trump said.

He said serving the "needs of American families, workers, and taxpayers" are his ultimate aims, and said he wanted to get something done to help DACA recipients. In order to protect those under DACA, however, Trump shared three goals he expects the upcoming bill to accomplish: enhancing border security, ending chain migration, and eradicating the visa lottery system.

Trump credited Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R, Va.) with formulating a bill, which is to be released soon, that covers those three "vital goals."

Trump expressed the necessity for increased border security by referencing the drug trade's malign effects.

"Drugs are pouring into our country at a record pace, a lot of people are coming in that we can't have," Trump said. "We’ve greatly stiffened and fewer people are trying to come in, but we have tremendous numbers of people on drugs pouring into our country. In order to secure it, we need a wall."

Trump went on to describe so-called loopholes in the border enforcement system that need closed, and called for better equipping border agents, with whom he recently met personally.

He criticized chain migration and visa lotteries for the way they fail to ensure quality people immigrate to the United States, saying people who end up in lotteries are the "worst of the worst."

On Monday, Reps. Will Hurd (R., Texas) and Pete Aguilar (D., Calif.) also unveiled a draft of their own DACA proposal.