Tags: Donald Trump | Exclusive Interviews | Homeland Security | Immigration | Mexico | Trump Administration | border wall

WH on Immigration Talks: 'Wall Is Part of Border Security'


By    |   Tuesday, 09 January 2018 04:33 PM

President Donald Trump had a "very successful and productive" meeting with Democrats on immigration reform Tuesday — and "the wall is part of border security," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

"That's one component of it," Sanders told reporters at the daily briefing. "We firmly again believe that border security has to be part of this negotiation and part of this deal."

Trump met with Democrats at the White House — a portion of the session was open to the media — saying afterward the parties had agreed to focus on four areas immediately: border security, chain migration, ending the visa lottery, and finding a permanent solution to the DACA program.

Broader issues would be tackled later, including working with Congress on comprehensive immigration reform.

Trump said the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico would be part of any agreement involving the more than 700,000 people affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The Obama-era program shielded those brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation and gave them the right to work legally.

In September, President Trump said he would end the program, giving Congress until March to find a solution.

"We had what we felt was a very successful and productive bipartisan and bicameral meeting on immigration reform," Sanders told reporters. "The leadership agreed to negotiate to four issues.

"They all agreed those four things would be part of the negotiation — and beyond that, then they could move into additional scope.

"But at this point, those were the four things on the table," she said.

Sanders emphasized the wall — Trump asked Congress for $18 billion last week for phase one — was part of border security and dismissed the idea the four areas to be discussed constituted amnesty.

"No," she responded when asked about amnesty. "We believe that this is an important part of the process.

"The president wants border security," she later added. "The wall is one of the pieces, as well as technology and a number of other things that have been laid out by the Department of Homeland Security.

"Border security does have to be part of this process," Sanders reiterated. "We want to secure the border because the safety of this country is the number one responsibility and number one priority when it comes to anything that he does.

"If Democrats aren't in favor of protecting American citizens, then I think we have hit a sad day in American history," she said.

"But I don't believe that to be the case, because as we heard many of them say as they sat around the table say they are committed to border security.

"Border security is more than the wall."

Sanders also said Trump has not abandoned the idea of Mexico paying for the wall, despite Mexican officials saying that would not happen.

"No, he hasn't."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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President Donald Trump had a "very successful and productive" meeting with Democrats on immigration reform Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, adding Trump believes "the wall is part of border security."
border wall, white house, press secretary, sarah sanders, press briefing
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 04:33 PM
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