Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said a recent meeting between President Trump and top Democrats over the immigration provision known as DACA was “helpful.”
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Trump met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., earlier this month. After the meeting, the two Democrats announced a deal with the president that would include border security, but no wall.
“Frankly, I think the meeting the other night with President Trump and the Democratic leaders was helpful,” Portman said in an interview at the Dayton Daily News offices. “Some Republicans thought it wasn’t good he was meeting with them, I think it’s fine, because I think that’s how you get an agreement at the end of the day.”
“I think the agreement is going to be making DACA permanent so these kids that came here through no fault of their own before the age of 16 will be able to stay,” Portman said.
DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — was created under President Obama in 2012. DACA allowed children brought to the U.S. illegally to apply for the right to live, work and go to school. If approved, deportation was deferred for at least two years, with a chance to renew the legal status.
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Portman said Obama’s policy change was “not within his rights as an executive.” Portman also said he believes legislation on DACA will be coupled with border protection and other enforcement.
“It will be coupled with additional enforcement, and let’s face it there’s a lot of opportunities there,” Portman said. “I’d like to do better enforcement in the workplace, where it’s like a sieve. People have fake documents and they can get jobs.”
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Staff Writer Max Filby and News Center 7’s Jim Otte contributed reporting.
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