President Donald Trump has denied making a deal with Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, despite Democratic leaders announcing on Wednesday night that those enrolled would be protected as part of a larger border security package.
In a series of tweets, Trump pushed back against the idea that he worked on a late night deal with Democrats, adding that he is essentially holding the DACA program hostage in hopes of getting a better deal.
“No deal was made last night on DACA,” Trump wrote. “Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”
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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017
Approximately 800,000 DACA recipients were thrown into a state of limbo earlier this month when Trump’s administration abruptly announced it was terminating the program, which shields young undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children from deportation for two years after undergoing an application process.
On Wednesday night, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced they had worked with Trump on a deal to protect DACA enrollees in exchange for working on a border security bill. The agreement between the lawmakers did not include funding for Trump’s border wall, they said.
On Thursday morning, Trump doubled down on his border wall proposal, one of his central campaign promises.
“The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump wrote.
Trump also seemed to show some compassion toward DACA recipients during his morning tweetstorm.
“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated, and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “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.”
When Trump’s administration announced the termination of the program, they told Congress it had six months to come up with a bill that would address DACA’s legal status. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called DACA “unconstitutional” when he announced the intention to end the program, but legal experts refute that characterization.