President Donald Trump surrendered his most powerful political tool for filling his campaign-winning promise of a border wall by agreeing to extend the DACA amnesty for at least 800,000 illegal immigrants in exchange for an unexplained “package of border security” improvements, according to Democratic and media reports.
The amnesty-for-no-wall deal was announced by the Democratic negotiators, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a late night statement.
We 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.
A White House statement said:
President Donald Trump had a constructive working dinner with Senate and House Minority Leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as well as Administration officials to discuss policy and legislative priorities. These topics included tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade. This is a positive step toward the President’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans. The Administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle.
Trump’s press aide released a subsequent statement, which suggested the president would continue to plead with Democrats for wall funding, even though numerous top Democrats have repeatedly insisted they will never fund the promised border wall.
While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 14, 2017
Next, Marc Short, Trump’s congressional aide who recently suggested Trump would trade the DACA amnesty for Democratic support of a tax bill, denied the Democrats’ claim of an amnesty-for-no-wall deal. But he admitted the White House is willing to separate wall funding from the DACA deal.
Short says WH is not committed to including border wall $ in DACA legislation if they feel "confident" it will be included in another bill.
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) September 14, 2017
But Schumer’s communications director insisted the amnesty-for-no-wall trade is a done deal.
The President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement. https://t.co/KD1SdLAnIF
— Matt House (@mattwhouse) September 14, 2017
Pro-American immigration reformers had hoped that Trump would swap a revived DACA amnesty for his popular goals, such as the merit-immigration RAISE Act, new rules against hiring illegals and a border wall. Instead, they and Trump got only a vague promise of border security improvements, and a Democratic refusal to fund his wall, according to the Democrats.
Rep. Steve King said the deal — if true — will destroy Trump’s coalition.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) September 14, 2017
The Democratic statement did not describe the scale of the promised DACA amnesty, which may include 4 million illegals and temporary residents, and also deliver them to voting booths starting 2022.