John Kelly leading White House's immigration effort in congressional negotiations

President Donald Trump has tasked chief of staff John Kelly with shepherding his immigration proposals through Congre...

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 12:00 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 12:00 PM

President Donald Trump has tasked chief of staff John Kelly with shepherding his immigration proposals through Congress, several administration officials and others familiar with the situation say, in the hopes the retired Marine general can help him fulfill core campaign promises ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Assigning the chief of staff to such a specific policy initiative is rare, given the top aide's duties in running White House operations and overseeing disparate factions in the West Wing. But Trump hopes Kelly can lend authority to his immigration push without sacrificing the hard-line positions he's advocated. Kelly served as Trump's first homeland security secretary and spearheaded the immigration efforts from that post in the first months of the administration.

Lawmakers will meet at the White House Tuesday to discuss immigration

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is one of the toughest issues

The push will continue Tuesday when lawmakers meet at the White House to discuss the next steps on immigration reform. Kelly will helm the meeting alongside Trump, people familiar with it said, though the prospects of striking an agreement appeared slim.

Other administration officials participating in the session include Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary; Stephen Miller, senior adviser for policy; and Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director.

Lawmakers and the White House hope to strike an agreement on the legal status of some young undocumented immigrants. Trump warned over the weekend, however, that any plan to help the recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would need to include authorization of a border wall, his chief campaign promise.

Democrats have resisted those demands, making the chances of any agreement slim. The DACA issue has proven one of the stickiest as lawmakers work to negotiate a spending deal that would avoid a government shutdown.

Democrats including Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Dianne Feinstein of California, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Jon Tester of Montana will attend Tuesday's meeting, the White House said. Durbin, a lead negotiator on immigration, has rejected the White House's proposals out of hand.

Trump, meanwhile, has insisted that his wall be built and hopes Kelly can help reach an agreement with Democrats that will allow him to fulfill his campaign promise.

An administration official said Monday that Kelly has maintained a good relationship with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California despite Trump's criticism of the congressional Democratic leaders. Officials said Trump viewed his chief of staff as the best hope of striking some type of deal.

That's left Miller, the policy adviser, to play second fiddle, officials said. Miller has been a staunch and outspoken proponent of limiting immigration to the United States, and is viewed as the White House's guiding voice on the matter.

Kelly is "more of an adult," one person familiar with the situation said, and Trump believes that with him in charge there's a better chance of getting something done. Another person said Kelly respects Miller but is the clear person in charge over him, with no question of the line of authority.

Two Democratic aides involved in the process said that while they were under the impression Kelly was playing a more robust role in the process, they didn't view him as any kind of moderating force when it came to the policy.

"None of our experiences with him at DHS would make us think that's a better deal on the policy," one aide said of the idea of dealing with Kelly instead of Miller. But the aide acknowledged that Democratic negotiators have a more extensive working relationship with Kelly -- compared to a nonexistent one with Miller.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
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Wells286281
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Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
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LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
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Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
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Rush170724
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Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
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Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1052099

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1221671356
Cuyahoga1070432069
Hamilton781801168
Montgomery50040996
Summit45383909
Lucas40122765
Butler37721570
Stark31437895
Lorain24166473
Warren23885293
Mahoning20905583
Lake20009362
Clermont19441229
Delaware18038130
Licking16124207
Fairfield15708197
Trumbull15585460
Medina14868259
Greene14668236
Clark13634293
Wood12767185
Portage12384196
Allen11328229
Richland11041198
Miami10536214
Muskingum8706127
Wayne8576209
Columbiana8546226
Pickaway8436121
Marion8377135
Tuscarawas8376240
Erie7566154
Hancock6714123
Ross6699146
Geauga6537146
Ashtabula6495165
Scioto6289101
Belmont5626158
Union557647
Lawrence5467102
Jefferson5324147
Huron5307114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5174120
Seneca5124120
Washington5076107
Athens501556
Auglaize475684
Mercer471684
Shelby456090
Knox4387108
Madison422859
Putnam421599
Ashland413188
Fulton409467
Defiance402596
Crawford3872101
Brown386455
Logan372976
Preble370398
Clinton361560
Ottawa356978
Highland347059
Williams326774
Champaign320657
Jackson308451
Guernsey306649
Perry289949
Fayette277848
Morrow275339
Hardin264264
Henry263766
Coshocton259457
Holmes253399
Van Wert239162
Gallia233346
Pike233331
Adams228552
Wyandot227253
Hocking209059
Carroll189247
Paulding168638
Meigs141538
Noble132837
Monroe128841
Morgan106623
Harrison105336
Vinton81514
Unassigned02
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