Thursday morning, speaking to reporters before surveying hurricane damage in Florida, President Donald Trump pushed back against Democratic leaders who claimed there was a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.
However, he said he was "fairly close" to a deal with congressional leaders to preserve protections for young immigrants living illegally in America, also known as 'Dreamers.' He insisted on "massive border security" as part of any agreement and added that his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would "come later."
"We're working on a plan subject to getting massive border controls. We're working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen," Trump said.”I think we're fairly close but we have to get massive border security,” he added.
Wednesday night, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York had announced in a joint statement that they had reached an agreement with Trump to provide legal status for the 800,000 immigrants under DACA.
"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 had said in a joint statement.
The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, later said that "while DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to."
Before speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Trump tweeted saying:“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.”
Schumer and Pelosi responded to the President’s tweets and said that his words were "not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night," and that while there was "no final deal," the president had said he would "support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act."
They added that details on border security needed to be negotiated, that both sides agreed "the wall would not be any part of this agreement" and that Trump said he would pursue the wall later.
Last week he had announced that his administration was rescinding the program and gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix.
At the same time, Trump expressed sympathy for the hundreds of Dreamers.
"Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military, really?" Trump wrote. "They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own - brought in by parents at a young age. Plus BIG border security."