The chaotic last 24 hours in Trump and Congress’s immigration talks, explained.
In the span of a few hours on Thursday, prospects for a deal on immigration in Congress — including a solution for immigrants fearing the demise of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — had gone from one senator calling negotiations “all peachy” to Donald Trump announcing he’s tired of helping people from “shithole” countries.
What looked like a breakthrough day for DACA ended in limbo.
Early in the afternoon, Republicans and Democrats sounded like they’d made progress. “We have an agreement in principle and we are shopping it to our colleagues,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is part of a bipartisan immigration working group with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and three Democrats, said.
“It’s all peachy,” Flake said, with a laugh in the early afternoon, noting that the agreement covered Trump’s four requirements: addressing DREAMers, border security, family-based immigration and the visa lottery system.
The sentiment was short-lived.
Graham’s pitch to the president Thursday afternoon wasn’t a success. The White House’s congressional liaison, Marc Short said there was a “ways to go,” and by mid-afternoon White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there was no deal.
By late afternoon, the Washington Post was reporting that the president had shocked the senators by complaining about immigrants from “shithole” countries like Haiti and saying the US should take more immigrants from Norway instead.
Democrats and Republicans are trying to come to an agreement by the end of next week on what to do about the 690,000 unauthorized immigrants who are losing or set to lose their deportation protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Congress has to come up with a deal to keep the government open in the next eight days, a deadline that has Read More Here