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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 TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest 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 LankfordRubio and bipartisan group of senators push to make daylight saving time permanent Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many 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 CornynOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dakota Access pipeline to remain in operation despite calls for shutdown | Biden hopes to boost climate spending by B | White House budget proposes .4B for environmental justice 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet Number of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports MORE (Texas), Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyNumber of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports Grassley, Cornyn push for Senate border hearing The Hill's Morning Report - GOP pounces on Biden's infrastructure plan MORE (Iowa), Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonMcConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE (Ark.), Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (S.C.) and Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings GOP senator recovering from surgery for prostate cancer Congress must address the toxic exposure our veterans have endured 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.