The Associated Press and other media outlets reported that, according to people present at the meeting, Trump questioned "why the USA would accept more immigrants from Haiti and '(expletive) countries'" in Africa. "Why do we want all these people from "shithole countries" coming here?"
The comments were first reported by The Washington Post.
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used".
"If this report is true, it is absolutely wrong to say or think this". "So we'll be talking to the White House about that and I hope we can move forward with that". "I represent Florida, and we are an incredible melting pot where over 250 languages are spoken".
The bipartisan group, whose other members included Sens.
"Americans have been debating how to best fix the country's immigration system for decades", they wrote in The Wall Street Journal. "But it also has to be a bill where we're able to secure our border".
At the meeting Trump questioned why the United States would want to accept immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to some as "shithole countries," according to two sources familiar with the comments.
Addressing the media afterward, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration believes "the wall is part of border security, that is one component".
Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program past year and booted the issue to Congress as he called for funding for a border wall with Mexico.
Earlier on Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives told reporters there had been substantial progress toward a deal. "The president invited us to - at his little get-together in the Cabinet room - to come up with proposals, and we did".
Much of the discussion involved so-called Dreamers, an estimated 700,000 young people who were brought to the country illegally as children and are now facing deportation.
Minority Leader said that this week produced progress after Democrats realized President would insist on policy changes in addition to border security as add-ons to a deal granting legal status to Dreamers.
"It's a joke of a proposal", Cotton said.
However, the person spearheading the legislation, Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, says DACA recipients will not be prioritized when it comes to citizenship.
It would fulfill Trump's four-point plan for a DACA compromise: legal status for DACA recipients, end to the Diversity Visa Lottery, limits on chain migration, and full funding for the border wall. "Everybody wants to get to a solution", said Sen.
"I think Vicente's right it could have that impact, but the ones (who were in the negotiations) we still plan on getting this done by (Jan.) 19th - can we do it? - it's going to be hard but it's possible", Cuellar said.
CASSIDY: It is about border security.