‘If we don’t have the wall, we’re doing nothing’: Trump pushes back on intense criticism over dealing with Democrats on immigration

President Donald Trump on Thursday addressed reports of an immigration and border-security agreement with Democratic congressional leaders.

Trump met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at the White House on Wednesday evening. After their dinner, the pair of Democratic leaders released a statement saying they had “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.”

Trump pushed back on their statement on Thursday morning.

“No deal was made last night on DACA,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, referring to the Obama-era program that protects some 800,000 people living in the US illegally from being deported. “Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”

Outside the White House later that morning, Trump said the trio came “fairly close” to a deal that would require “massive border security.”

“The wall will come later,” he said.

Then, while traveling to Florida to visit with hurricane victims, Trump said he was still insisting on getting a wall built along the US-Mexico border.

“Ultimately, we have to have the wall,” he told reporters. “If we don’t have the wall, we’re doing nothing.”

Trump called the wall “vital” and threatened that Republicans would “become the obstructionists” if the wall was not funded.

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, applies specifically to people who were brought to the US as minors and allows them to work in the US legally.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the program would be phased out within six months, giving Congress time to replace it with a law if possible.

After Trump’s tweets Thursday morning, Schumer and Pelosi reiterated that “both sides” agreed the wall would “not be any part of this agreement.”

“The President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it,” they said.

Pelosi and Schumer said they discussed new technology, drones, air support, sensor equipment, rebuilding roads along the border, and existing congressional legislation as potential boosts in border security.

But Trump emphasized that the wall is still in his plans for border security.

“The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also distanced Trump from Schumer and Pelosi, tweeting Wednesday night, “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”

In his Thursday-morning tweets, the president appeared to endorse a solution that would allow DACA recipients, often called “Dreamers,” to stay in the US.

“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” Trump tweeted.

“They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age.”

Wednesday night’s meeting followed a deal Trump reached last week with Schumer and Pelosi, in which he agreed to a hurricane-relief package and an extension of the debt ceiling and continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 15. The House and the Senate approved the legislation and Trump put his signature on the package days later.

Watch Trump’s Thursday morning comments below:

Trump, about to take off toFlorida, on DACA: “We’re working on a plan,”Ryan/McConnell “very much on board.” “The wall willcome later.” pic.twitter.com/CwPzeozU6C

pic.twitter.com/CwPzeozU6CSeptember14, 2017