Sen. Chuck Grassley attempted to get conversation focused exclusively on DACA illegal aliens during a bipartisan White House meeting about immigration with a room full of legislators and President Donald Trump.
Trump remarked that the group was not far away from comprehensive immigration reform and that if they want to take that final step, they should do it, as he is willing to take the heat for both Republicans and Democrats. The president argued for a two-phase immigration reform that starts with a bill to legalize DACA recipients and provide some border wall, an end to chain migration, and an end to the visa lottery. The second phase would involve comprehensive immigration reform. Trump later clarified that there is no agreement without the wall.
Trump gave Grassley the floor to air his perspective.
Grassley said he wanted to add to what Cornyn and Graham had said about the necessity of Trump’s working with them. Grassley pointed out the 60 vote threshold in the Senate to get a bill through but said that the threshold increases to a 67 vote threshold if Trump were to veto a bill.
Grassley said that if they do not have good faith negotiations and get to an agreement within days, they will have to bring up “either the House bill or the bill that some of [them] … introduced in the United States Senate.” He added, “We’re gonna have a hold on it. And those people who don’t want to vote to legalize DACA kids are going to have to explain why that they haven’t wanted to protect the vulnerable people that we’re all here talking about. We’re talking about everything except doing something for the DACA kids.”
Grassley said that he would vote for a path to citizenship even though it would not be easy for him but that he would do it “just as an effort.”
Trump said the path is an incentive for people to work hard and do a good job and specified that it is not all children; some are 39 and 40 years old now.
Grassley broke back in stating that it is about legalizing people who have not broken the law, people whose parents broke the law in bringing them to America.
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