The Hill: Trump, Dem leaders reach agreement on young immigrants14 September 2017 | 06:04 | FOCUS News Agency
Trump discussed the agreement during a dinner at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
But afterward, two sides disputed key details of the proposal, raising questions about whether a deal had actually been reached. The Democratic leaders said the border-security measures would not include funding for Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“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.”
Less than an hour later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back on Schumer and Pelosi’s account.
“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” she said in an email.
Trump sent lawmakers scrambling to address hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program when he terminated it last week. The Obama-era program offered a temporary reprieve from deportation to certain young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The president has appeared increasingly willing to work with Democrats in recent days after bitterly fighting them during first seven months of his presidency. He is hoping Schumer and Pelosi can help him deliver the votes for an immigration bill and other legislative priorities this fall.
In an earlier statement, the White House called the dinner “constructive” and said the conversations centered on “tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade.”
The Democratic leaders said they also urged the president to make some key ObamaCare subsidies permanent.
Trump told a bipartisan group of moderate lawmakers earlier Wednesday that he wants them to find a quick solution for DACA recipients.
“We don’t want to forget DACA. It’s already been a week and a half and people don’t talk about it as much,” Trump said.
After the meeting, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told reporters the president is getting impatient.
“He says, ‘Oh, DACA, we want to move on this quick, we don’t want to wait six months,’” Cuellar said.
The Texas Democrat said that the president didn’t insist that money for the border wall be attached to the DACA fix.
“He said, ‘We don’t have to tie a wall to this. We can put a wall [in another bill],’” Cuellar said, stressing other border enforcement measures would likely be included.
But even if Trump and Democratic leaders agree to a deal on immigration, the president will need Republican leaders to back it in order for it to come to the floor for a vote.
GOP leaders were frustrated with Trump's decision last week to break with them and strike a fiscal deal with Schumer and Pelosi.
But they're also exploring ways to address the DACA predicament. Hours after Trump met with centrist lawmakers, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) huddled with a number of Democrats in the Capitol to discuss a path forward on DACA.
The gathering was attended by Pelosi and the heads of the Hispanic, Black and Asian caucuses.
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