President Trump says there won't be protection for young immigrants brought into the country illegally unless he gets funding for a border wall and other items.
Mr. Trump said on Twitter Friday: "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 & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc."
He added: "We must protect our Country at all cost!"
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 & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
The battle over immigration has been delayed until 2018. Democrats want protections for the young immigrants, who are referred to as "Dreamers." DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Mr. Trump also told The New York Times in a wide-ranging interview at his club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach that no wall means no plan for Dreamers.
"Look, I wouldn't do a DACA plan without a wall. Because we need it. We see the drugs pouring into the country, we need the wall," the president said.
Later Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, tweeted that he thinks they can find a way to fix DACA while improving border security, and help Mr. Trump "keep that promise."
We can fix DACA in a way that beefs up border security, stops chain migration for the DREAMers, and addresses the unfairness of the diversity lottery. If POTUS wants to protect these kids, we want to help him keep that promise.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 29, 2017
But while there is significant bipartisan sympathy for these immigrants, GOP demands for Mr. Trump's border wall and for more immigration agents have proved difficult to resolve.
Shortly after taking office, Mr. Trump signed an executive order to hire 15,000 new border security agents and immigration officers, and was given a two-year window by the Office of Personnel Management to do so. But hiring that many skilled workers so quickly is proving to be a challenge, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General was unsure whether those new agents and officers are even necessary.
The president continues to emphasize at rallies that the wall will be built. But nearly one year into his presidency, the construction of such a wall continues to lag behind the president's original expectations and Congress has yet to pass any meaningful funding for it.
Meanwhile, time is running out for a DACA fix before protections for those Dreamers end. The president announced the effective end of DACA in September, telling Congress they had six months to come up with a fix. That deadline is March 5.
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