Trump, Democrats strike deal to save Daca

The Mercury - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON: Demo­cratic lead­ers have an­nounced that they agreed with President Don­ald Trump to pur­sue a leg­isla­tive deal that would pro­tect hun­dreds of thou­sands of young un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion and en­act bor­der se­cu­rity mea­sures that don’t in­clude build­ing a phys­i­cal wall.

The president dis­cussed op­tions dur­ing a din­ner at the White House with Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles Schumer, and House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, that also in­cluded talks on tax re­form, in­fra­struc­ture and trade.

Trump has showed signs of shift­ing strat­egy to cross the aisle and work with Democrats in the wake of the high-pro­file fail­ures by Repub­li­cans to re­peal the Af­ford­able Care Act.

A pos­si­ble al­liance be­tween Trump and the Democrats on im­mi­gra­tion would rep­re­sent a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal gam­ble for a president who made prom­ises of tougher bor­der con­trol poli­cies the cen­tre­piece of his cam­paign and pledged to build a “big, beau­ti­ful wall” along the US-Mex­ico bor­der. A ma­jor­ity of Repub­li­cans, es­pe­cially in the House, have long op­posed of­fer­ing legal status, and a path to cit­i­zen­ship, to the na­tion’s more than 11 mil­lion un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants.

But Trump has vac­il­lated over the fate of the younger im­mi­grants, known as “dream­ers”, who have lived in the coun­try il­le­gally since they were chil­dren. Un­der mount­ing pres­sure from the right, Trump moved two weeks ago to be­gin dis­man­tling De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals (Daca), an Obama-era pro­gramme that al­lowed 690 000 dream­ers to work and go to school with­out fear of de­por­ta­tion.

In an­nounc­ing the de­ci­sion, the president made clear that he ex­pected Con­gress to pur­sue a plan to pro­tect the Daca re­cip­i­ents, of­fer­ing a six-month de­lay un­til their two-year work per­mits be­gin to ex­pire in March.

The White House de­scribed the meet­ing as “con­struc­tive” and said the ad­min­is­tra­tion “looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing these con­ver­sa­tions with lead­er­ship on both sides of the aisle.”

Con­gres­sional aides fa­mil­iar with the ex­change said that Trump and the party lead­ers agreed to move quickly on leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect dream­ers, though aides did not dis­close whether they agreed that the goal should be for dream­ers to even­tu­ally be of­fered a path to cit­i­zen­ship.

In a state­ment, Schumer and Pelosi said they 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.”

White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders con­firmed that Daca and bor­der se­cu­rity were dis­cussed but she said ex­clud­ing bor­der wall fund­ing from a pack­age deal was “cer­tainly not agreed to”.

Ear­lier in the day, Trump held a bi­par­ti­san meet­ing with a group of House mem­bers. Af­ter­wards, sev­eral Democrats in­volved in those talks said the president also had made clear that he did not ex­pect bor­der wall fund­ing to be in­cluded in a leg­isla­tive deal on the dream­ers. – The Wash­ing­ton Post

PIC­TURE: AP

Demo­cratic lead­ers reached agree­ment with President Don­ald Trump to pro­tect cer­tain im­mi­grants brought il­le­gally to the US as chil­dren. The agree­ment was an­nounced by Democrats Nancy Pelosi, pic­tured left, and Chuck Schumer.

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