President Donald Trump, when discussing his gripes with a massive spending bill he signed into law on Friday, continued to try and cast blame on Democrats for the lack of legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Trump, who vowed to “never again” sign a bill like the omnibus spending bill that passed through Congress, said on Thursday that Republicans “are much more” on the side of DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers,” than Democrats.
The president also tied funding for his border wall to the program, a condition of his own making.
“I can tell you this, and I say this to DACA recipients: the Republicans are with you, they want to get your situation taken care of,” the president said. “The Democrats fought us. They just fought every single inch of the way. They did not want DACA in this bill. As you know, DACA is also tied to the wall for the major funding. The $25 billion for the wall and other things… I do want the Hispanic community to know, and DACA recipients to know, that Republicans are much more on your side than the Democrats, who are using you for their own purposes.”
President Trump: “I do want the Hispanic community to know and DACA recipients to know that Republicans are much more on your side than Democrats who are using you for their own purposes” https://t.co/Rl34XVusiB— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 23, 2018
Conveniently left out of Trump’s blame was the fact that his administration ended the DACA program—which shields certain undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children from deportation—last September and punted the decision to Congress to draft new legislation.
Trump also asserted that DACA was “tied” to his controversial border wall, a possible compromise floated by lawmakers only after Trump ended the program and turned it into a bargaining chip for future deals.
The Washington Post reported that the administration offered three-year protections Dreamers in exchange for $25 billion in border wall funding, like Trump suggested on Thursday. However, Democrats insisted that a path to citizenship be included in the deal.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) filibustered for eight hours earlier this year to bring attention to DACA recipients as a different spending bill decision loomed ahead of a possible government shutdown. That deal did not address immigration.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) addressed Trump’s remarks on Thursday afternoon.
“Dems have made good faith efforts to resolve this crisis. We’ve agreed to support flawed bills that include provisions we oppose, like funding a border wall, and the president has still said ‘no.’ If there is no DACA fix today it’s because the president didn’t want one,” she wrote on Twitter