President Donald Trump is moving closer to a deal with Democrats that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation and put off funding for his marquee campaign promise of a border wall along the US-Mexico border.
The bombshell developments, which were first announced in a statement Wednesday night by Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi and reiterated by Trump himself Thursday morning, were met with immediate outrage from conservatives and put pressure on the President’s Republican allies in Congress.
Trump insisted on Twitter Thursday morning that “no deal was made” on DACA, and Schumer and Pelosi later issued a statement clarifying that what was agreed upon was Trump supporting congressional actions to put DACA protections into law.
“What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible,” the statement said. “While both sides agreed that 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.”
Asked about the discussion Thursday morning, Trump told as he departed the White House for Florida that “the wall will come later.”
“We’re right now renovating large sections of wall. Massive sanctions. Making it brand new. We’re doing a lot of renovations we’re building four different samples of the wall to see which one we’re going to choose. The wall is going to be built — it will be funded a little bit later,” he added. Earlier Thursday, he tweeted that the wall was under construction “in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls” and will continue to be built.
Trump also defended on Twitter the undocumented immigrants protected under DACA, calling them “good, educated and accomplished young people” who “have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own.”
A White House official said in a statement following the dinner Wednesday that the topics discussed at the dinner included tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade.
“This is a positive step toward the President’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans,” the statement said. “The administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle.”
White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short confirmed that the President and Democrats agreed to work to find a legislative fix for DACA, but he called Democrats’ claim of a deal that would exclude wall funding “intentionally misleading.”