- Joshua Roberts/Reuters
- As part of negotiations last week to end the government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered to fund part of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall in exchange for protections for the nearly 700,000 unauthorized immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
- Trump agreed to the outlines of the deal before backing out, Schumer said.
- After the shutdown, Schumer told the White House that border-wall funding was off the table, Sen. Dick Durbin told Politico.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is playing hardball with President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall after the president late last week rejected his deal that included funding for it.
During a meeting at the White House on Friday, hours before the government shut down, Schumer offered Trump partial funding for his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border in exchange for protections for the nearly 700,000 unauthorized immigrants shielded from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, set to expire on March 5.
Trump agreed to the deal but reversed course a few hours later, Schumer said.
Schumer then took the proposed wall funding off the table on Sunday, a senior Democratic aide told Business Insider. Congress on Monday passed a bill, which Trump later signed, to fund the government through February 8 and end the shutdown.
The minority leader on Tuesday confirmed that the deal was not a part of current negotiations.
“We’re going to have to start on a new basis, and the wall offer is off the table,” Schumer said at a press conference.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-highest ranking Democratic senator, told Politico that Schumer “called the White House yesterday and said it’s over.”
Politico, which first reported Schumer’s reversal, also quoted a Democratic aide as saying Trump “missed an opportunity to get the wall.”
The DACA fight has only just begun. While Democrats backed off demands to codify the program so they could reach a deal to end the shutdown, Schumer said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had agreed to hold an open debate on bringing a DACA bill to the floor before February 8.
Trump announced in September that he would end the program.
Funding for the wall could have been a way to get Trump on board with a Senate solution on DACA – something he so far seems reluctant to do – as well as bridge the divide between the House and Senate on immigration.
Now, it appears the three weeks of negotiations to solve the DACA issue will be even more fraught.