But Trump, who has also pushed for changes to family-based immigration, signaled displeasure with the senators' proposal. Trump allegedly said he'd rather have more immigrants from Norway, a predominately white country, and fewer from "shithole countries" in Africa and said the USA didn't need anymore people from Haiti.
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said he still thinks a deal can be struck. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. But she said she didn't "dispute the president was using tough language". He said Trump used the most vulgar term "more than once".
One of Trump's top advisers, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, said on "Fox News Sunday" she did not recall if Trump used "that specific phrase".
There is internal debate in the West Wing over whether Trump said "shithole" or "shithouse".
Other Republicans on Tuesday echoed Graham's call for compromise on the almost 700,000 Dreamers, who were spared the threat of deportation under the Obama Administration, but saw that rescinded in September by President Trump.
Comments Trump allegedly made during the meeting have further complicated talks.
The White House has not explicitly denied the reports.
"Republicans control the House, they control the Senate, and they control the presidency", Leahy said. "This is an important issue, he's passionate about it, he's not going to apologize for trying to fix our immigration system".
Republicans' slim 51-49 Senate majority means they need at least nine Democratic votes to pass a stopgap funding measure.
Durbin called the events of the last two weeks "bizarre".
Friday is the deadline to get a spending deal across the finish line, one that's slowly expiring. "Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military".
An immigrant advocacy group said it will will help DREAMers cut bureaucratic red tape starting Monday after the government announced it will again accept renewal requests from recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Democrats have always been pushing to secure a deal for the Obama-era program DACA. "If my fellow colleagues and Democrats in the caucus want to do something about it- that's wrong".
Asked if that "someone" was White House staffer Stephen Miller, Durbin said "any effort to kill immigration reform usually has Mr. Miller's fingerprints on it". The White House said there are no tapes.
Negotiations bogged down, however, amid reports that Trump told lawmakers he would rather have more immigrants from Norway and fewer from "shithole countries" including Haiti and some African nations.
Trump also denied making the statements attributed to him, but avoided the details of what he did or did not say.
"Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting", his post on Twitter read.
Trump's "sh-hole" remark has had implications in Washington and overseas.
What has Trump said about it?
"In its current form I'm probably a no", Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said in an interview. "I'm not going to say, 'Oh, gee, I want this or I want that.' I'll be signing it, because I have a lot of confidence in the people in this room that they're going to come up with something really good". Trump wrote, "I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians". She said the Trump administration and congressional Republicans want "a security-immigration deal". Our economy has suffered as employers who can't find willing US workers have been prevented from hiring immigrants, or put themselves and their workers at risk by hiring them illegally.
The latest ruling comes at a time when Trump is advocating against the illegal migrants living in the USA and is lobbying to build a border, along the US-Mexico border to stop its infiltration.
"I can tell you the president challenged us in his Cabinet meeting to come up with a bipartisan agreement to solve the problem and to hit four major elements in it", said Sen.
If the allegation were true, she asked reporters, "Why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV?"