Portman said Pelosi “exaggerates” the scope of Trump’s call for more physical barriers along the Texas border. He said Trump “is talking about 234 miles of physical barriers” compared to the border’s total length of 2,000 miles.
Portman backs a measure that would provide the White House with $25 billion during the next five years for barriers, technology and drones at the border while stepping up “screening” at American ports.
In return, a compromise would hand Democrats one of their goals, which is legal status for those who qualify under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Currently those DACA recipients – brought to the United States illegally when they were children – have to renew their status every two years.
Portman said such an agreement would allow DACA recipients to “continue to work, go to school and not worry about their status.”
It would not provide them with full citizenship.
On Tuesday, Trump hosted Republicans Brad Wenstrup of Cincinnati, Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River and seven other House Republicans for lunch at the White House where they discussed border security and the shutdown, which is now in its 25th day.
Wenstrup, said while a handful of House Democrats were invited to the 12:30 p.m. lunch, none showed up.
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also attended, he said.
Wenstrup said when he was invited to the White House during the Obama administration for a meeting with the chief of staff, he went.
“It’s hard to make progress when you’re negotiating with yourself,” he said.
He said border security has been a crisis for years, and said the caravans and unaccompanied minors crossing the border have only made it more of a humanitarian crisis.
“They’re saying this president is not negotiating,” said Wenstrup. “That’s not true. He’s willing to negotiate.”
A spokeswoman for Gonzalez, a Rocky River Republican, said he does not discuss private meetings.