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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday night said they had reached a deal with President Donald Trump that would protect certain unauthorized immigrants as part of a broader border-security agreement, though the White House pushed back on some of the specifics.
The two Democratic leaders released a statement after a meeting with Trump. They said their agreement would not include funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border, something on which Trump campaigned fervently.
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. The discussion focused on DACA,” their statement said. “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.”
“We also urged the President to make permanent the cost-sharing reduction payments, and those discussions will continue,” it said.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, tweeted that “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
Politico reporter Rachael Bade cited a House GOP source who said Republican leaders “were blindsided again” by the announcement.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is the Obama-era program that protects some 800,000 people living in the US illegally from being deported and allows them to work legally. It applies specifically to people who were brought to the US as children. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that the program would be phased out over six months, giving Congress time to replace it with a law if possible.
A White House official said Trump and the Democratic leaders on Wednesday night also discussed taxes, infrastructure, and trade issues. A separate statement from the White House called the meeting “a positive step toward the President’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans.”
Any deal would almost certainly undergo congressional scrutiny before a bill is passed and signed into law by Trump.
Wednesday night’s meeting followed a deal Trump reached with Schumer and Pelosi last week, 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.