Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Trump ties ‘Dreamer’ fix to Mexico border security

Reuters and AP, WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump yesterday said that any move on illegal immigrants who entered the US as children would have to be tied to security, contradicting US Democratic congressional leaders who said they had reached a deal with him on the issue.

“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 said on Twitter, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by former US president Barack Obama.

Trump ended the program earlier this month and gave the US Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called “Dreamers” begin to expire.

“The WALL [on the US-Mexico border], which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump added.

A mainstay of his presidential campaign last year was a promise to build a wall along the southern US border aimed at keeping immigrants and drugs out.

He had said Mexico would pay for it, but has since requested money from Congress.

US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and US House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier said that they had come to an agreement with Trump at a dinner meeting at the White House on Wednesday evening.

“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,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement.

A person briefed on the meeting, who demanded anonymity to discuss it, said the deal specified bipartisan legislation called the DREAM Act that would provide eventual citizenship for the young immigrants.

The White House disputed that assessment.

“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Twitter on Wednesday night.

Still, Trump yesterday appeared to acknowledge the complexity of handling the issue of the immigrant children.

“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” Trump said on Twitter. “They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own — brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.”

Earlier on Wednesday, during a White House meeting with moderate House members from both parties, Trump had urged lawmakers to come up with a bipartisan solution.

“We don’t want to forget DACA,” Trump told the members at the meeting. “We want to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems.”

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