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 TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal 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 LankfordGOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes Florida senator seeks probe of Ben & Jerry's halting sales in Israeli settlements Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama 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 CornynDemocrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE (Texas), Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' Democrat rips Justice for not appearing at US gymnastics hearing MORE (Iowa), Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE (Ark.), Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (S.C.) and Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) 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.