- The Washington Times - Monday, January 29, 2018

President Trump said Monday the GOP lacks the votes to get an immigration deal done so Democrats have veto power over the outlines of a final bill, as he heaped pressure on congressional negotiators.

Previewing his Tuesday State of the Union address, Mr. Trump said the speech will cover his tax cuts and trade, but said it’ll go big on immigration.

“For many, many years they’ve been talking immigration, they never got anything done, we’re going to get something done, we hope,” the president told reporters.

“It’s got to be bipartisan because the Republicans really don’t have the votes to get it done in any other way, so it has to be bipartisan,” he said. “But hopefully the Democrats will join us, or enough of them will join us, so we can really do something great, for DACA and for immigration generally.”

Mr. Trump on many other issues has demanded the Senate eliminate the filibuster so his agenda can pass without needing Democratic votes, but has not made that demand with respect to immigration.

Congress is racing a deadline established by Mr. Trump when he announced a phaseout of the Obama-era DACA program that granted a tentative deportation amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant “Dreamers.” The phaseout fully kicks in March 5, and Mr. Trump has set that as the deadline for Congress to pass a new program for the nearly 700,000 currently protected by DACA.

Last week he embraced a full pathway to citizenship for them and for more than 1 million other illegal immigrants, but said it must be coupled with funding for his border wall, limits to the long chain of family migration, and elimination of the Diversity Visa Lottery that gives away 50,000 immigration passes a year based on chance.

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