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 TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border 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 LankfordHarris on election security: 'Russia can't hack a piece of paper' GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees GOP senator calls Omar's apology 'entirely appropriate' 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 CornynSenate plots to avoid fall shutdown brawl Inviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Trump endorses Cornyn for reelection as O'Rourke mulls challenge MORE (Texas), Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Drug pricing fight centers on insulin MORE (Iowa), Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown 'Morning Joe' host quizzes Howard Schultz on price of a box of Cheerios MORE (Ark.), Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump says he'll '100 percent' veto measure blocking emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Dems tee up Tuesday vote against Trump's emergency declaration | GOP expects few defections | Trump doubles number of troops staying in Syria to 400 On The Money: Dems set Tuesday vote on Trump's emergency declaration | Most Republicans expected to back Trump | Senate plots to avoid fall shutdown drama | Powell heading before Congress MORE (S.C.) and Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Morning Report — Emergency declaration to test GOP loyalty to Trump Don’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times 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.