WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi say President Donald Trump agreed to legalize recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without a border wall.
DACA recipients are illegal immigrants who arrived in the country as young people. Pelosi and Schumer had a dinner meeting with Trump and administration officials at the White House Wednesday.
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. 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,” the two Democratic leaders said in a joint statement late Wednesday night.
“We also urged the President to make permanent the cost-sharing reduction payments, and those discussions will continue,” they added.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed the Democratic leaders’ claims, saying Trump did not agree to exclude the wall from any DACA fix.
While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 14, 2017
Trump responded to the statements Thursday morning, saying that “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,” the president tweeted.
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
A statement from the White House described the dinner as “constructive,” and “a positive step toward the President’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans.
“The Administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle,” the White House said.
Earlier in the day, members on both sides of the aisle met with the president to discuss legislation ranging from tax reform to immigration policy.
Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar echoed Pelosi and Schumer telling reporters that the president told a group of House members who visited the White House Wednesday that Trump was not interested in funding the border wall in the DACA fix.
“We were talking about DACA. We brought up DACA. Then he [Trump] says, ‘We need border security,'” Cuellar told reporters. “And then he looks up and says, ‘No wall. Put it somewhere else.'” (RELATED: Dem Claims Trump Not Interested In Border Wall Funding In DACA Fix)
Pelosi and Schumer’s statement reflects what White House legislative director Marc Short told reporters Tuesday, that DACA legalization would not necessarily need to be tied to funding for a border wall. (RELATED: White House: Border Wall Doesn’t Have To Be Tied To Amnesty)
One of the congressional bills most often mentioned as a DACA fix is the Dream Act, which could legalize nearly 2 million illegal immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
WATCH ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS ANNOUNCE END OF DACA… BEFORE TRUMP FLIP-FLOPS A WEEK LATER: