President Donald J. Trump and two top Democrats have come to an agreement on DACA, Democratic leaders said, though the White House said that a formal deal has not yet been reached.
Trump, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) agreed to quickly push through legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation during a Sept. 13 meeting, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
“We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement released after the Sept. 13 meeting.
Trump was quick to respond to their statement, as he tweeted Sept. 14, “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.”
Schumer and Pelosi said that the leaders had also agreed “to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders quickly disputed that account in a tweet.
“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” Sanders wrote, referencing Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on the U.S. – Mexico border.
A White House official told ABC News that the meeting was “constructive” and that “this is a positive step toward the president’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Sept. 5 Trump’s decision to “rescind” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, established by former President Barack Obama. Trump urged Congress to replace the policy before it expired in March 2018, calling the wind-down period a “window of opportunity for Congress to finally act” in a Sept. 5 White House press release.
DACA is a temporary immigration benefit granted to some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The program offers a work permit and two years of deportation protection. To be eligible for the program, one had to be enrolled in high school or hold the equivalent of a high school diploma and have a clean criminal record. About 800,000 people in the U.S. are protected from deportation under DACA, according to the Times.
The dinner meeting also involved talks regarding infrastructure, tax reform, and trade, according to the Post.