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 TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick 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 works to lock down GOP votes for coronavirus bill Charities scramble to plug revenue holes during pandemic Warren calls for Postal Service board members to fire DeJoy or resign 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 CornynHillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost cybersecurity of local governments, small businesses On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami MORE (Texas), Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power The Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (Iowa), Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Abortion stirs GOP tensions in Supreme Court fight MORE (Ark.), Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLincoln Project mocks Lindsey Graham's fundraising lag with Sarah McLachlan-themed video The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE (S.C.) and Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisOvernight Energy: Trump officials finalize plan to open up protected areas of Tongass to logging | Feds say offshore testing for oil can proceed despite drilling moratorium | Dems question EPA's postponement of inequality training On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami Feds say offshore testing for oil can proceed despite drilling moratorium 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.