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DACA  border security :One day after a televised meeting between nearly two dozen lawmakers and President Donald Trump, a group of bipartisan senators say they are increasingly optimistic about a deal on a handful of immigration issues that include border security and a solution on the future of thousands of undocumented immigrants currently caught in legal limbo.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., one of the six senators working on a deal, said Wednesday morning that they are “close” to an agreement. After an afternoon meeting with a group working on the deal, Flake emerged saying they “are closer.”

“We’re very close on the four categories that we outlined,” he said, adding that a deal could be announced as early as this week.

“I feel very positive we’re moving in the right direction,” Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the lead Democrat in the talks, noted.

The proposal would address the nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who have been given protected immigration status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA — program. Trump gave Congress until March 5 or the immigrants’ protection would expire. The agreement is also expected to include additional border security, minor changes to family-based migration, and drastic changes to the diversity visa lottery program.

The group, which also consists of Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., says their proposal should be able to obtain 60 votes in the Senate.

However, immigration legislation has been much harder to pass in the House over the last decade, and members there have had some complaints about the substance of the current negotiations in the Senate. “I understand that they’ve taken the kids hostage. There’s no other way to look at this,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez. D-Ill., said about the negotiations. “But tell me what the ransom is. Stop changing the terms of their freedom.” Read more

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