immigration

Key GOP Negotiators Doubt Immigration Deal Materializes This Week

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a key negotiator on immigration talks, doubts there will be some sort of deal this week, despite Democrats' saying they won't support a funding bill if it does not contain immigration provisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown.

“I think we’re optimistic that we’ll get a deal. I think this week would be fairly Herculean,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters Tuesday after a meeting with staff of the No. 2 congressional leaders.

Top DHS Official Says She ‘Did Not Hear’ Trump’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Comment
Kirstjen Nielsen was present at White House meeting

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin is shown on a television monitor questioning Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The top official at the Department Of Homeland Security on Tuesday declined to say directly whether President Donald Trump used a vulgar slur to describe several foreign countries during a recent White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration that she attended.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee she “did not hear” whether Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” in last Thursday’s meeting with House and Senate lawmakers.

Diaz-Balart Isn’t Saying What Trump Said
South Florida Republican rep says he wants to keep his seat at the table in discussing Dreamers

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., would not comment about whether President Donald Trump used the word “shithole” in describing the countries from which some immigrants are coming to the U.S. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said he would not delve into whether President Donald Trump called Haiti and African countries “shithole countries.”

Diaz-Balart was in the immigration meeting with other lawmakers in which Trump is reported to have made the remarks, but told Florida TV station WPLG he would not comment on whether Trump made them.

Blaming Dems, Trump Says DACA Deal Likely ‘Dead’
President also doubles down on ‘merit-based’ immigration

President Donald Trump said Sunday that the deal on the DACA immigration program is likely dead and blamed Democrats. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Sunday declared a deal on the DACA immigration program likely “dead,” tweeting his view that Democrats don’t really want one.

Democratic lawmakers “just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” he wrote.

Podcast: Immigration Imbroglio
CQ on Congress, Episode 86

Immigration rights demonstrators prepare to march from the White House to the Trump Hotel and the Justice Department to oppose President Trump's decision to end the DACA program for "dreamers" on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CQ immigration reporters Camila DeChalus and Dean DeChiaro dig into the complications of finding an agreement to safeguard immigrants with special protections while funding a border wall demanded by the Trump administration.

Show Notes:

He Said, He Said: Lawmakers in Trump Meeting Appalled — Or ‘Don’t Recall’
Trump’s reference to ‘shithole countries’ sets off a s---storm

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, left, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham were both in a meeting with President Donald Trump when he reportedly referred to African nations and Haiti as “shithole countries.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:41 p.m.| Members of Congress who were in the meeting when President Donald Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” have different memories of what happened.

The Washington Post reported that Trump asked Thursday why “all these people from shithole countries” were coming to the United States, alluding to Haiti and countries in Africa.

Arizona Senate Primary Battle Officially Kicks Off
Martha McSally joins Joe Arpaio and Kelli Ward in likely drawn-out primary

Rep. Martha McSally kicked off her bid for the open Arizona Senate seat on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Arizona Senate primary officially kicked off Friday, and it’s going to be a battle — with war planes and all. 

Republican Rep. Martha McSally launched her Senate run at the Tucson Jet Center on Friday morning and will travel to other areas of the state later in the day. She donned a blue flight suit to fly in a World War II-era AT-6 trainer to Phoenix, and then to Prescott. McSally, of course, is piloting the plane herself. 

Durbin Confirms Trump’s ‘Hate-Filled, Vile and Racist’ Talk
Illinois Democrat, who was in meeting, says media reports about Trump’s words have been accurate

Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said Friday he saw no prospects for a bipartisan DACA deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:08 p.m. | Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin told reporters Friday that he heard President Donald Trump make the vulgar remarks about immigrants that have been widely reported in the press and dismissed by the White House. 

The Illinois Democrat said Trump’s comments during a Thursday meeting “were hate-filled, vile and racist.”

Trump Denies Using Slur to Describe Majority Black Countries
President slams Durbin-Graham immigration proposal in epic Twitter rant

President Donald Trump speaks during news conference with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway in the East Room at the White House on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday denied using the term “shithole countries” to describe Haiti and African nations during a Thursday Oval Office meeting on immigration.

And, in classic Trumpian form, he attempted to alter the day’s new coverage to focus on a bipartisan immigration overhaul proposal offered by Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Lindsey Graham — a plan he rejected during an Oval Office meeting that also featured immigration hawks from his White House and Congress.

Thursday's Hangout With Steven Mnuchin and Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Global elitism, FISA, a possible stock market dive pepper White House day

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly waits to speak in October as press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during a press briefing. Kelly is leading White House efforts to strike an immigration deal. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A Treasury secretary says the Davos gathering of global elites isn’t a hangout for global elites. A press secretary says tweets that seemed to contradict each other didn’t contradict each other. A president predicts a stock market dive if he doesn’t get his way. In other words: Thursday at the White House.

Among the business-as-usual moments were White House officials blaming Democrats for delays on immigration and government-funding measures, even while the White House chief of staff was trying to close the deal, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announcing that taxpayers should see bigger paychecks next month — as long as new withholding tables the IRS is circulating work like they are designed to.