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Trump tells GOP senators that 2,200-mile border wall not needed in immigration deal

Trump tells GOP senators that 2,200-mile border wall not needed in immigration deal
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE on Thursday laid out his demands for an immigration deal to Republican senators, making clear he doesn't expect Congress to build a physical 2,200-mile concrete wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Instead, the president wants Congress to increase security along the border by ratcheting up patrols, surveillance and fencing, in return for relief for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients in an immigration deal that could be tied to the 2018 spending bill. 

“People want to paint that it’s some 2,000-mile long, 30-foot-high wall of concrete. That’s not what he means and not what he tries to say,” said Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration GOP senators turning Trump immigration framework into legislation Fractured GOP struggles with immigration strategy MORE (R-Okla.), who met with Trump at the White House Thursday.

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“There’s going to be border fencing in some areas, there’s going to be vehicular barricades, there’s going to be technology, there’s going to be greater manpower in some areas,” he added.

Lankford said Trump has been clear “in private.”

Government funding runs out on Jan. 19, and Congress has until March 5 to come up with a solution to protect "Dreamers" from deportation.

Other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday met with Trump Thursday — including Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration GOP senators turning Trump immigration framework into legislation MORE (Texas), Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Grassley to Sessions: Policy for employees does not comply with the law MORE (Iowa), Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonThis week: Trump delivers State of the Union amid immigration fight Ingraham: White House yanked immigration plan defense from show After shutdown surrender, why should progressives ever trust Chuck Schumer again? MORE (Ark.), Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Overnight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach MORE (S.C.) and Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA McConnell: Mueller needs 'no protection' from Trump Press: Congress must protect Mueller from Trump MORE (N.C.) — to get a better sense of what border security needs must be met as part of an immigration deal with Democrats.

Trump told lawmakers to end chain migration and the visa lottery program as part of a possible deal with Democrats to protect an estimated 800,000 Dreamers from deportation.

Under chain migration, relatives of immigrants with legal status receive preferential treatment, and the diversity visa lottery program, which provides visas to people from countries that have relatively few immigrants in the United States.

Trump called chain migration “a total disaster” and the visa lottery program “bad for our economy and very bad for security.”  

He said a deal with Democrats must “secure the border with a wall" and give “our immigration officers the resources they need to stop illegal immigration” and “stop visa overstays."

"He's been very strong on the visa lottery program," Lankford said of Trump. "He thinks it's a foolish way to be able to do immigration policy. It's just a random selection."

GOP lawmakers are trying to put together a final proposal for beefing up border security, ending chain migration and the visa lottery program before a meeting with Democrats planned for Tuesday.

“We’re trying to get a final working document,” Lankford said.

Lankford said he hopes prospective immigration legislation moves separately from a bill funding government for the rest of 2018.