Home / World News / President Trump is open to short-term DACA deal, White House tells GOP leaders – The Denver Post

President Trump is open to short-term DACA deal, White House tells GOP leaders – The Denver Post

WASHINGTON – White House officials have told key Republican leaders on Capitol Hill that President Donald Trump is open to cutting a deal in an upcoming spending bill to protect young immigrants from deportation in exchange for border wall funding, according to four GOP officials briefed on the talks.

The offer could represent a significant shift for Trump, who in January insisted on much broader immigration restrictions in exchange for any protections for “dreamers” – the young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, some of whom have been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump canceled in September.

Now, with the DACA cancellation tied up in the courts and no clear path for stand-alone immigration legislation, the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said Trump is warming to a simpler deal that would allow his administration to quickly start work on a U.S.-Mexico border wall – a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign.

One idea under consideration is a three-year extension of the DACA program in exchange for three years of wall funding, a GOP official said. This official said the talks, which are being led by senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and legislative affairs head Marc Short, were fluid.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement later Wednesday that the administration opposes a “three for three” deal, which some moderate Republicans already have floated.

Instead, Shah said, Congress ought to include wall funding in the upcoming spending bill as a matter of course.

“Separately, we have never stopped working to negotiate an immigration reform package that addresses DACA, stops illegal immigration, and secures and modernizes our legal immigration system,” he said.

But Democrats have made clear that they are unwilling to agree to any wall funding absent protections for dreamers, and the upcoming spending bill is probably the last chance for Trump to lock in a deal ahead of the November midterm elections. And if Democrats retake the House, it will be even more difficult for Trump to demand wall funding.

A deal could come together quickly: Congress must pass a spending bill before a March 23 deadline, and congressional negotiators hope to release draft legislation as soon as this week.

Democratic aides familiar with the ongoing spending talks said that Republicans have not yet formally proposed any immigration deal and that they are skeptical about whether lawmakers of either party would warm to the idea before the deadline.

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