Democrats claim deal reached over DACA, Trump disagrees

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump fired back at congressional Democrats on Thursday morning after Democrats said the two sides agreed Wednesday night to work together on a legislative package to address the status of young unauthorized immigrants.

Democrats claimed the agreement would include protections for the young immigrants called Dreamers and border-security measures, though not funding for a border wall. But press secretary Sarah Sanders immediately disputed that characterization of the discussion as did the president on Thursday morning.

The president tweeted Thursday that no agreement was reached on the Obama-era executive action, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week is being rescinded.

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

Trump made special mention of his proposal to build a border wall with Mexico, one of his signature promises during the election.

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.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017

He also tweeted that he did not have interest in throwing out “good, educated and accomplished young people.”

Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017

…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

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017

The comments coming out of the Democrats’ camp on Wednesday evening were different than the tone Trump struck on Thursday morning.

“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the President,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement after their dinner at the White House with Trump and several White House officials.

“The discussion focused on DACA. 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.

Sanders disputed the statement in a tweet after the dinner, writing that “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to” in the larger discussion over DACA and border security.

While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 14, 2017

A White House official called the dinner — at which participants ate Chinese food in the White House’s Blue Room — “constructive,” and said the group discussed tax reform, border security, the DACA program, infrastructure and trade.

“This is a positive step toward the president’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans,” the official said. “The administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle.”

According to one person briefed on the meeting, Trump, Schumer and Pelosi agreed to put together a package consisting of the bipartisan Dream Act with border security provisions.

That bill would offer a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who graduated high school or obtained a GED and pursued higher education, served in the military or worked lawfully for several years.

At a press conference Thursday, Pelosi said that she and Schumer “insisted” the Dream Act “be the basis for the protection” of young immigrants.

But just minutes earlier in Florida, where Trump is visiting with Hurricane Irma victims, the president said, “We’re not looking at citizenship,” further clouding the details of the group’s negotiations.

The meeting between Trump and Democratic congressional leaders comes one week after the administration announced it would phase out DACA and after the president surprised Republicans by cutting a deal with Democrats on hurricane relief, government funding and the nation’s debt limit.

The dinner also followed a flurry of bipartisan meetings at the White House. Trump, at a meeting with moderate Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday afternoon, pushed for action on a legislative fix for DACA, but supported pairing it with border security, according to Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon.

It’s unclear how far any agreement can proceed on Capitol Hill without buy in from Republicans controlling both chambers.

In a statement Wednesday after a meeting on DACA with Pelosi, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top lawmakers, Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said GOP leaders believe “any solution needs to address border security and enforcement, which are the root causes of the problem. Discussions among the Republican conference will continue in the coming weeks.”

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