Sen. Lankford Says Trump Meeting On Immigration Provided 'Clarity'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, says Tuesday's bipartisan meeting on immigration reform at the White House provided "real clarity" to the issues involved in a legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He says it's now "very likely" a bipartisan bill will come out of such debates, which have been going on in a less public way for some time now.
"There's been meeting in a bipartisan way for about three months now to try to work thru the process," said Lankford of immigration discussions. He said the American people were able to see a "much larger gathering of that" on Tuesday as members of the press were allowed to keep cameras in the room for over 50 minutes of debate.
"It is interesting for people to be able to see the give and take, try to provide clarity. It's one of the things I've said over and over again about immigration, if you don't define the scope of what you're talking about you'll never get onto the next issue of trying to define that," said Lankford.
"It's exceptionally important for these DACA students and for the families around the country and quite frankly for all of us dealing with border security that we get this right."
While the president appeared to be open to a two-phase approach to DACA and border security, then comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Lankford maintains that "when he talks about doing DACA it always includes border security."
Mr. Trump told the group on Tuesday that he hoped to come up with "an answer for DACA," a program offering legal protection for so-called "Dreamers" who came to the U.S. as children. He said it should be a "bill of love," while remaining firm that his long-promised border wall would be part of any agreement reached.
Following the meeting, the White House released a statement saying that during the closed-door portion of the discussions, the president and lawmakers "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."
Lankford said that while there was "wide agreement on doing border security" amongst lawmakers, they are still trying to "find out the parameters of border security" and what that would entail.
Following the meeting, the White House was delivered a blow when a federal judge Tuesday night temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end DACA. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the president is "committed to the rule of law, and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration."
A federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s plan to phase out the #DACA program. Cameras captured nearly an hour of negotiations at the White House yesterday between @POTUS and bipartisan lawmakers. @SenatorLankford joins us live to discuss: https://t.co/QosoL0EyIy pic.twitter.com/RDF6aNLxyn— CBS This Morning ?? (@CBSThisMorning) January 10, 2018