Trump sees compromise on extending DACA; ‘the wall will come later’

Donald Trump, border wall between Arizona and Mexico, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer. (Yahoo News photo illustration; photos: Evan Vucci/AP, Susan Schulman/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images, J. Scott Applewhite/AP, Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Following a dinner meeting at the White House Wednesday, President Trump and Democratic leaders seemed close to a compromise on extending the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in exchange for increased border security. The two sides later exchanged statements politely disagreeing on whether a “deal” or “agreement” or “plan” had been arrived at, but it seemed clear that progress had been made on the substantive issues.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday in a joint statement that they had a “very productive” meeting with the president.

“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,” they said.

A White House statement, however, downplayed DACA, saying it was one of a number of topics discussed, along with tax reform, border security, infrastructure and trade. There was no mention of a deal.

President Trump said Thursday morning that “no deal” has been made on DACA. But Trump also questioned whether “anybody” supported the deportation of “good, educated and accomplished” undocumented immigrants protected by DACA.

Doing just that, on “day one,” had been a key promise of his campaign, along with securing the border with an actual physical wall, not just enhanced security measures.

Schumer and Pelosi responded that Trump’s tweets were “not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night.” There was, they emphasized, no “final deal.”

“We agreed that the president would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act,” they said. “What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible.”

Schumer and Pelosi also stated that “both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement.” Trump told reporters Thursday that “the wall will come later.” That seemed to contradict his own press secretary, who tweeted after the meeting that “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”

Trump continued, “We’re working on a plan — subject to getting massive border controls. We’re working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen.”

“You have 800,000 young people, brought here, no fault of their own,” he added. “So we’re working on a plan; we’ll see how it works out. We’re going to get massive border security as part of that. And I think something can happen; we’ll see what happens, but something will happen.”

The dinner Wednesday came a week after an Oval Office meeting with congressional leaders during which Trump struck a surprise deal with the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown.

The administration this month announced the end of the DACA program, giving Congress six months to pass the policy into law. Trump said he would “revisit” DACA at the end of that period.

The Obama-era policy was enacted through executive action in 2012. It benefits an estimated 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.


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