Trump tells GOP to 'give a little' to reach deal on immigration

Sara Shayanian and Danielle Haynes
President Donald Trump waves as he walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on his way to West Virginia Thursday. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI
President Donald Trump waves as he walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on his way to West Virginia Thursday. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 1 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump spoke to members of Congress on Thursday at a Republican retreat in West Virginia, telling members of his party they must strike a deal with Democrats in order to pass an immigration deal.

He told GOP lawmakers they'd have to compromise with Democrats unless more Republicans are elected during the midterms in November.


"We have to be willing to give a little in order for our country to gain a whole lot," he said, echoing his call for bipartisanship during Tuesday's State of the Union address.

Trump also blamed Democrats for talking a "good game" in regards to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives protection to young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents. The immigrants also are referred to as "Dreamers," a name that originated from the 2001 legislative proposal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or the DREAM Act.

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"I've been hearing about DACA for so many years," Trump said. "Some people call it Dreamers; it's not Dreamers, don't fall into that trap. It's much different than Dreamers.


"We have dreamers, too. We have dreamers in this country, too. You can't forget our dreamers."

Trump reiterated his four pillars for immigration reform: a permanent solution on DACA, border security, and the end of chain migration and the visa lottery.

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"The priorities of Republicans in Congress are the priorities of the American People. We believe in strong families and strong borders. We believe in the rule of law, and we support the men and women of law enforcement," his prepared remarks said. "We believe every American has the right to grow up in a safe home, to attend a good school, and to have access to a great job."

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the retreat attendees Wednesday, telling members of the GOP "we have our work cut out for us" in the 2018 midterm elections.

"Conventional wisdom holds that the upcoming midterms are going to be a challenge but I think you all know what President Trump thinks about conventional wisdom," he said. "Conventional wisdom said in 2016 that Hillary Clinton was going to be elected president of the United States of America."

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Pence said Republican successes in 2017, like passage of the tax overhaul and the subsequent business reinvestments, would bolster their chances.

"Because of what we've done in rolling back red tape and unleashing American energy and cutting taxes for working families and businesses, small and large, since Election Day 2.4 million new jobs [have been] created across America," he said.

Thursday's speech came a day after an Amtrak train carrying the GOP lawmakers to the retreat crashed into a garbage truck near Charlottesville, Va., killing the driver.

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