Trump calls for border wall funding in any DACA deal

Mandatory Credit: Photo by EUGENE GARCIA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9300333h) People protest the inaction of congress on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California, USA, 22 December 2017. Dozens of immigrant rights activists, families and youth protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) protest against congress for not passing a clean Dream Act. Protest against US Congress failure to pass Dream Act in Los Angeles, USA - 22 Dec 2017
Protesters in Los Angeles decried the inaction of Congress on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday that any deal that would grant legal status to immigrants brought to the United States as children must include funding for a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Trump added in a Twitter message that he would not accept any renewal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unless it also includes provisions to end ‘‘chain migration,’’ the policy that allows naturalized immigrants to petition for relatives to come to the United States.

The DACA, which is set to expire in 2018, protects “Dreamers” — child immigrants brought into the country illegally.


‘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 and ridiculous lottery system of immigration,’’ Trump said.

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‘‘We must protect our country at all cost!” he added.

Democrats, whiplashed for months by the president’s changing stances on DACA, are scheduled to negotiate next week with Republican congressional leaders and the White House.

‘‘We’re not going to negotiate through the press and look forward to a serious negotiation at Wednesday’s meeting when we come back,’’ said Drew Hammill, the press secretary of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Funding for a border wall, a modified Trump campaign promise, has found little support in the Republican-controlled Congress.


During the campaign, candidate Trump repeatedly said that Mexico would ‘‘pay for the wall.’’ Since January, House Republicans have instead proposed paying for the wall up front, and moved legislation through the Homeland Security Committee that would devote $10 billion to wall construction.

Democrats remain resolutely opposed to wall funding, and many Republicans favor funding for ‘‘border security’’ that would not be earmarked for an actual wall.

Polling this year has found low public support for the wall concept; in August, a Fox News poll found barely 3 in 10 Americans supportive of the idea, and about as many convinced that Mexico could be made to pay for it.

The president, by citing a yearlong drop in illegal border crossings, has also given some breathing room to moderate Republicans who see security funding, not a wall, as a reasonable compromise.