President Trump issued a warning to Democrats – there will be no “fix” of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without funding for a southern border wall.
“The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!” stated Trump in an early Friday morning tweet.
With Congress gearing up to return to business in January, the president emerged from his Mar-a-Lago resort to establish the parameters for the upcoming debate on DACA.
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, Trump said immigration was an area where a “bipartisan” deal could be reached and “DACA in particular.”
But not without the wall, an end to chain migration and the Diversity Visa Lottery, which grants visas to citizens of nations with lower levels of immigration into the U.S.
“Look, I wouldn’t do a DACA plan without a wall. Because we need it,” he said. “We have to get rid of chainlike immigration, we have to get rid of the chain.”
Since he announced in September his plans to end DACA, the president has consistently asserted that the border wall was non-negotiable. In October, Trump told reporters that while he would “love” to reach agreement on DACA but “we have to get something very substantial for it, including the wall.”
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in December to discuss how to make a deal. Although the deadline to end the program is March 5, some senators have raised the prospect that Trump could extend it beyond that date.
In the interview, Trump expressed his belief that Democrats agree getting rid of the visa lottery and also on chain migration.
Regardless of whether the DACA deadline is extended, immigration will be front and center as government funding expires on January 19.
Congressional Democrats again will be under pressure from open border activists to either secure amnesty for the 800,000 DACA beneficiaries or block legislation to fund the government.
Credo Mobile and Democracy For America (DFA) criticized both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for backing down from threats to shutter the government.
“For months, Democratic leaders insisted they would use their leverage in year-end spending bill negotiations to protect Dreamers and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but at the end of the day they let us down and refused to even put up a fight,” CREDO political director Murshed Zaheed said in a statement to The Hill.
The open borders group, FWD.US has been rallying supporters to call Capitol Hill to lay out what they say is a “clear choice.
“A vote for a government spending bill without protections for Dreamers is a vote to deport 800,000 Dreamers,” the group says.
When the House and Senate reconvene in January, they will be under pressure from all sides to address a host of issues from long-term military spending to the debt ceiling and fixes to health care reform. It is certain immigration will be addressed early on but the negotiators remain in the shadows and the American public in the dark about the details.