President Donald Trump might strike a deal with congressional Democrats to make protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients permanent in exchange for bolstered border security. Trump has stated that he has not committed to any deal, which reportedly would not include funding for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but has signaled an openness to providing DACA recipients with a path towards citizenship.
On Sept. 13, Democratic leaders announced that Trump had agreed to a deal that would preserve DACA protections. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said in an official statement that a border wall would not be included in the package.
"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 Democratic leaders said, according to Axios.
Schumer spokesman Matt House added: "The president made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement."
On Sept. 14, Trump took to social media to throw cold water on reports that the immigration deal was complete, while maintaining that the border wall he had touted on the campaign trail remained a priority.
"No deal was made last night on DACA," Trump tweeted out. "Massive border security would have to be agreed in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote ... 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."
The president then signaled that he would still pursue a deal with Democrats that would protect DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, from deportation.
"Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?" Trump tweeted out. "Really! 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."
Later that day, while surveying hurricane damage in Florida, Trump confirmed that a deal was being negotiated.
"We're working on a plan -- subject to getting massive border controls," Trump said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We're working on a plan for DACA."
The president asserted that the potential DACA deal would not grant amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
"We're not looking at citizenship," Trump continued. "We're not looking at amnesty. We're looking at allowing people to stay here. We're talking about taking care of people ... We'll only do it if we get extreme security, not only surveillance but everything that goes with surveillance."
White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters told reporters aboard Air Force One that the deal could potentially include a path towards citizenship for Dreamers, according to CNN.
Democrats reacted to the potential deal with cautious optimism. Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia voiced skepticism of Trump's intentions, noting that the president had rescinded the executive order that gave Dreamers protections.
"Now he wants to solve the problem he helped create?" Connolly told Politico. "Well I'm happy to do that with his help but let's not forget who created the problem. ... A lot of us are very, very wary of trying to have a workman-like relationship with a man who has renounced and denounced virtually every value we hold dearly."
Meanwhile, the majority of conservatives were outraged by the proposal, with Trump allies blasting the DACA protections as a reversal of the president's campaign promises.
"Amnesty is a pardon for immigration law breakers ... Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair," tweeted out GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa. "No promise is credible."
Sources: Axios, CNN, Donald J. Trump/Twitter (2, 3, 4), Los Angeles Times, Politico / Featured Image: Marianique Santos/Flickr / Embedded Images: Jim Mattis/Flickr, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr