Sept. 14 (UPI) — Top congressional Democrats say a deal was reached on protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation, but that notion was denied Thursday by President Donald Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had dinner with Trump at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. They emerged saying they and Trump agreed to work toward an arrangement by which DACA recipients could stay in the United States in exchange for new border security measures.
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the president,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement. “We 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.”
Building a wall on the United States’ southern border has been a pledge of Trump’s since his presidential campaign.
Within an hour, though, a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted that “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
Trump added Thursday morning that a wall is still a part of his immigration plan.
“No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” Trump tweeted.
Minutes later he added, “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.”
In two additional messages, Trump said, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!
“They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age.”
Trump terminated the DACA program last week, a policy enacted in 2012 by the administration of former President Barack Obama. He called on Congress to codify the program, with revisions, into law. It offers a reprieve to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.
In an earlier statement, Trump said the dinner meeting involved conversation on “tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade,” noting it was “constructive.”