On Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with lawmakers from both parties to achieve a joint resolution to protect the thousands of young undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. from the threat of deportation. In a remarkable deviation from his unyielding anti-immigration campaign messaging, Trump confirmed he would cooperate with whatever solution the bipartisan panel decided upon.
“I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” he said. “I am very much reliant on the people in this room. I know most of the people on both sides, have a lot of respect for the people on both sides, and… what I approve is going to be very much reliant on what the people in this room come to me with.”
Trump is exhibiting a rare deviation from his staunch position on immigration, if only to achieve progress in commissioning a border wall previously deemed unattainable. “If you don’t have the wall, you don’t have security,” Trump told lawmakers. “You folks are going to have to come up with a solution, and if you do, I‘m going to sign that solution,” he continued.
Tuesday’s meeting captivated party members from both sides due to its overtly public nature, a rarity in the Trump White house so far; White House officials allowed media cameras to role throughout the entire discussion of a bipartisan approach to immigration reform, a surprise to viewers and lawmakers alike.
“Having the Democrats in with us is absolutely vital. It should be a bipartisan bill. A bill of love. Truly it should be a bill of love,” Trump said, proceeding to list his stipulations for cooperation, including enhanced border security, outlawing chain migration, and ending the visa lottery system, a program that grants roughly 50,000 individuals permanent residency in the U.S. per year.
Around 3 PM, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made the official statement, “During the closed-door portion of the meeting, they reached an agreement to negotiate legislation that accomplishes critically needed reforms in four high-priority areas: border security, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.”
Francesca Friday is a New York City-based National Politics, Health and Lifestyle contributor for Observer.