President Donald Trump met with Senate Republicans at the White House on Thursday to discuss a new plan for children who illegally immigrated to the United States.
Back in November, the United States Supreme Court appeared open to allowing Trump to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which former President Barack Obama established back in 2012.
Trump promised to end DACA during his 2016 White House bid, but since entering office, he has been hesitant to outright end the program, which does receive bipartisan support. He still sought to do so, however, in order to gain an advantage over Democrats while negotiating additional immigration reforms, including funding requests for the southern border wall.
Trump’s position on DACA might have flipped once again in recent months, as his fiscal year 2021 budget requested a significantly smaller amount of funds for border wall construction. White House officials told the Daily Caller that the emphasis regarding the wall has “now shifted from securing funds to being able to build more wall.” (RELATED: Funding Secured For 1,000 Miles Of Border Wall, White House Officials Say)
“The president has kept his promise to secure the border,” the official added. “With funding available, the administration will build up to approximately 1,000 miles of border wall along the southwest border.”
SCOTUS is expected to make a decision on DACA by June of 2020.
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, has previously pushed for legalizing the so-called DREAMers, and he told Politico Thursday about the meeting.
CONFIRMED: The President is meeting with Senator Graham and a group Republican Senators now https://t.co/As7BJViKyS
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) March 5, 2020
“I think the president will win in court on DACA that he can set aside the Obama-era DACA rules, then what do you do?” Graham posed to Politico. “I mean If you’re going to give them legal status I hope we get something for it.”
Georgia Sen. David Perdue and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis were also in attendance at the meeting. Both have pressed the White House to expand the H-2B visa program which allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday they would be expanding the total number of H-2B visas by 35,000 for the year.
10,000 of those new visas are “specifically designated for nationals of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, in support of these countries efforts to work with the U.S. to stem the flow of illegal migration in the region and encourage lawful migration to the United States,” DHS said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
Additionally, DHS noted the visas would be delivered in two batches — 20,000 starting April 1 and 15,000 starting May 15 — in order to prevent a single employer from monopolizing the hiring.
The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s inquiries on Thursday’s meeting.