Donald Trump: ‘Working on’ DACA, wall ‘will come later’



Then President-elect Donald Trump looks on in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 during a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in their first public step toward a transition of power in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

By Emily Ngo | Newsday

Remarks made separately Thursday by President Donald Trump and top Democratic lawmakers reflected a broad agreement on pursuing DACA legislation with border security but not the border wall, but each side bristled at the other’s portrayal of the previous night’s dinner discussion.

“No deal was made last night on DACA,” Trump said in a 6 a.m. tweet.

Senate and House minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi responded that the tweet was “not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night,” adding, “there was no final deal, but there was agreement.”


Later Thursday, the GOP president told reporters the trio is “working on a deal” and “the wall will come later.”

Trump’s recent overtures to the opposition party — which last week included siding with them on a three-month debt limit extension and government-funding timeline — has left Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) sidelined.

The GOP lawmakers were not invited to dine with the president Wednesday night, but a White House spokeswoman said Trump spoke with them Thursday morning by phone.

Schumer (D-New York) and Pelosi (D-California) said Thursday that Trump had approved of the concept of a legislative package that tethers a replacement for the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program with yet-to-be-negotiated border security enhancements.

They said that funding for the border wall that he has long promised to his base was not to be included in “this agreement,” but “the president made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it.”

Trump confirmed as much to reporters as he traveled to Florida in a show of support for victims of Hurricane Irma.

“We’re working on a deal,” he said, adding that he seeks “extreme security — not only surveillance but everything that goes with surveillance.”


He emphasized that the wall along the U.S.-Mexican border was not being abandoned, the prospect of which spurred heated criticism from conservative Republicans overnight.

“Very important is the wall. We have to be sure the wall isn’t obstructed because without the wall I wouldn’t do anything,” the president said.

“It doesn’t have to be here,” he said of tying the wall to DACA, “but they can’t obstruct the wall if it’s in a budget or anything else.”

Trump said earlier at the White House before leaving for Florida: “The wall will come later.”

Schumer said an outline was in place but talks were ongoing.

“We have an understanding on this issue,” he said from the Senate floor. “We have to work out details and we can work together on a border security package with the White House, and get DACA on the floor quickly.”

Trump and Pelosi split Thursday on the question of a path to citizenship — however long — for some of the so-called Dreamers protected from deportation under DACA.

The approximately 800,000 young immigrants were brought to the country illegally as children and now work, attend school or are enlisted in the military here.

“We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here,” the president said upon landing in Fort Myers, Florida.

Pelosi at the Capitol said Trump had agreed to use the Dream Act creating legal status for Dreamers as the “basis” for a DACA replacement.

The legislation considers a path to citizenship.

“It’s an earned path, but it’s a long road,” she said.

The president tweeted Thursday morning: “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? 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.”


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