US President Donald Trump has addressed reports of an immigration and border-security agreement with Democratic congressional leaders in a series of tweets.
“No deal was made last night on DACA,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”
Outside the White House later Thursday morning, Trump said the trio came “fairly close” to a deal that would require “massive border security.”
“The wall will come later,” he said.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is the Obama-era program that protects some 800,000 people living in the US illegally from being deported and allows them to work legally. It applies specifically to people who were brought to the US as minors.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the program would be phased out within six months, giving Congress time to replace it with a law if possible.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday night after a meeting with Trump that they had “agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
After Trump’s tweets Thursday morning, the pair reiterated that “both sides” agreed the wall would “not be any part of this agreement.”
“The President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it,” they said.
Pelosi and Schumer said they discussed new technology, drones, air support, sensor equipment, rebuilding roads along the border, and existing congressional legislation as potential boosts in border security.
“The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted Wednesday night, “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
In his Thursday-morning tweets, the president appeared to endorse a solution that would allow DACA recipients, often called “Dreamers,” to stay in the US.
“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” Trump tweeted.
“They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age.”
Wednesday night’s meeting followed a deal Trump reached last week with Schumer and Pelosi, in which he agreed to a hurricane-relief package and an extension of the debt ceiling and continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 15. The House and the Senate approved the legislation and Trump put his signature on the package days later.
Watch Trump’s Thursday morning comments below:
Trump, about to take off to Florida, on DACA: "We're working on a plan," Ryan/McConnell "very much on board." "The wall will come later." pic.twitter.com/CwPzeozU6C
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) September 14, 2017
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