White House to host Latino groups for immigration reform meeting
Posted January 23, 2019 4:15 p.m. EST
CNN — The White House will hold a meeting with Latino stakeholder organizations Thursday afternoon to discuss immigration reform, which could lead to a potential deal to end the government shutdown, a source familiar with the meeting tells CNN.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to attend the meeting, which will include the League of United Latin American Citizens, the LIBRE Initiative and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, according to the source.
News of the meeting comes as the partial government shutdown rolls into its 33rd day, sparked because of disagreements between Democrats and the White House over funding for a US-Mexico border wall. Most recently, President Donald Trump proposed temporary status protections for certain undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in wall funding, which Democrats -- who control the House of Representatives, oppose.
McClatchy first reported the White House meeting.
In the meeting, stakeholders expect to discuss comprehensive immigration reform, which could includes a pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients and Temporary Protected Status recipients, the source said.
The source told CNN at least one stakeholder was open to supporting a $3 billion-$6 billion border security plan if the plan included a virtual wall but no permanent wall -- thought ultimately Democratic lawmakers are the ones who would need to get on board for anything to change.
All the organizations slated to attend the meeting appear to be bipartisan or right-leaning organizations.
LULAC is a bipartisan civil rights group that has been vocally critical of Trump's immigration policies. The LIBRE Initiative, which has received large amounts in funding from billionaires Charles and David Koch, labels itself as a "nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization that advances the principles and values of a free and open society to empower the US Hispanic community."
And the pro-business Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has opposed the Trump administration's child separation policy among undocumented migrants. The former CEO of the organization also resigned from Trump's diversity coalition in 2017 after Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
LULAC confirmed that the organization agreed to a meeting at the White House to discuss a possible solution to the shutdown.
"Make no mistake about it, LULAC is there, first and foremost to demand that federal workers be allowed to get back to their jobs," Domingo Garcia, national president of LULAC, said in a statement.
"Also, we are not changing our position which we have consistently conveyed from our members and millions more Latinos. Our children and loved ones are not bargaining chips to be bartered or exchanged when a threat is being made against them," Garcia added.
LULAC told CNN that other organizations rejected the White House's invitation to attend the meeting.