U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said any move on illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children would have to be tied to security, disputing Democratic congressional leaders who said they had reached a deal with him on the issue.
“No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” Trump wrote in one of a series of posts on Twitter.
He was referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by former President Barack Obama.
“The Wall (on the U.S.-Mexico border), which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump also wrote.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi earlier said they had come to an agreement with Trump at a dinner meeting at the White House Wednesday evening.
“We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement.
The White House disputed that assessment.
“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Twitter on Wednesday night.
Still, Trump on Thursday appeared to acknowledge the complexity of handing the issue of the immigrant children dubbed Dreamers.
A mainstay of his 2016 presidential campaign was a promise to build a wall along the southern U.S. border aimed at keeping immigrants and drugs out. He had said Mexico would pay for it but has since requested money from the U.S. Congress.
“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” Trump wrote in another tweet.
“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.”
Reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by John Stonestreet