Democrats say they have deal with Trump on young immigrantsSeptember 14, 2017 3:23am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top House and Senate Democrats said Wednesday they had reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump's long-sought border wall.

The agreement, the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition, was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers weren't invited to attend. It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.

Trump ended the program earlier this month and gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called "Dreamers" begin to expire.

"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," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders partially disputed their characterization, saying over Twitter that "excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to."

Either way, it was the second time in two weeks that Trump cut out Republicans to reach a deal with Pelosi and Schumer. A person briefed on the meeting, who demanded anonymity to discuss it, said the deal specifies bipartisan legislation called the DREAM Act that provides eventual citizenship for the young immigrants.

House Republicans would normally rebel over such an approach, which many view as amnesty for law-breakers. It remains to be seen how conservatives' loyalty to Trump will affect their response to a policy they would have opposed under other circumstances.

The House's foremost immigration hardliner, GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, made clear that he, for one, was not happy.

Addressing Trump over Twitter, King wrote that if the reports were true, "Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible."

Earlier Wednesday, during a White House meeting with moderate House members from both parties, Trump had urged lawmakers to come up with a bipartisan solution for the "Dreamers."

"We don't want to forget DACA," Trump told the members at the meeting. "We want to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems."

Foreshadowing what was to take place later that evening, Trump said he would be open to separating the wall issue from the question of the younger immigrants, as long as the wall got dealt with eventually.

At Thursday night's dinner, "the president was clear he would press for the wall but separate from this agreement," said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

The apparent deal is the latest example of Trump's sudden pivot to bipartisanship after months of railing against Democrats as "obstructionist." He has also urged them to join him in overhauling the nation's tax code, among other priorities.

Trump, who was deeply disappointed by Republicans' failure to make good on years of promises to repeal "Obamacare," infuriated many in his party last week when he reached a three-month deal with Schumer and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and speed relief to states affected by recent hurricanes.

"More and more we're trying to work things out together," Trump explained Wednesday, calling the development a "positive thing" for both parties.

"If you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was done on a bipartisan manner. And so that's what we're going to give a shot," he said.

The "Kumbaya" moment now appears to extend to the thorny issue of immigration, which has been vexing lawmakers for years. Funding for Trump's promised wall had been thought to be a major point of contention between Republicans and Democrats as they attempted to forge a deal — yet by Thursday, Trump was apparently ready to deal even on that issue, the one that most defined his campaign for president last year.

__

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.

___

Follow Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorialsEditorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the U.S. and abroad
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., points to a question as he speaks to the media, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
One last last chance: GOP strains for Obamacare repeal votes
FILE - In this March 8, 2015, file photo, Jimmy Kimmel arrives at the 32nd Annual Paleyfest : "Scandal" held at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Kimmel said on Sept. 19, 2017, that Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy “lied right to my face” by going back on his word to ensure any health care overhaul passes a test the Republican lawmaker named for the late night host.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
GOP senator defends health bill against Kimmel's attacks
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., waits as protesters yell during a press conference on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 in San Francisco. Several dozen young immigrants shouted down Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House, on Monday during an event in San Francisco, following her recent conversations with President Donald Trump over the future of a program that grants many of them legal status. (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Young immigrants shout down Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi
The Latest: Pelosi says she understands, respects protestersHouse Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says she understands and respects young immigrants who disrupted her event in San Francisco calling for immigration reform
FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., walks from his Senate office as Congress returns from the August recess in Washington. The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Military budget would swell under Senate bill
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices