U.S. President Donald Trump says he is “fairly close” to a deal with congressional leaders regarding the undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children and that any agreement must include “massive border security.”
The comments Thursday came shortly after he tweeted that he did not make a deal with the House and Senate Democratic leaders on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that the administration had canceled last week.
“Well we’re working on a plan, subject to getting massive border control. We’re working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen, you have 800,000 young people brought here, no fault of their own, so we’re working on a plan. We’ll see how it works out, but we’re going to get massive border security as part of that, and I think something can happen, we’ll see what happens, but something will happen,” Trump told reporters. “The (border wall will come later.”
WATCH: Trump on DACA deal
Democrats’ take on conversation
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer had said after meeting with Trump Wednesday night that they agreed to quickly put in place protections for the 800,000 people who registered under DACA, the Obama-era program that protected them from deportation.
Thursday morning, they issued a joint statement saying Trump’s tweets on the subject were “not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night” and stressed that there was no final deal yet.
“We agreed that the President would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act,” the statement said. “What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible.”
Border security, wall
In his comments, Trump said “So we met last night with, as you know, Schumer, Pelosi, and a whole group, and I think we’re fairly close, but we have to get massive border security.”
He also indicated that both Republican congressional leaders, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and House speaker Paul Ryan, are “on board” with a deal regarding DACA and border security.
Trump’s canceling of DACA included giving Congress six months to work out a permanent solution.
The president had told a group of lawmakers from both parties Wednesday that funding for a border wall could be dealt with separately from a bill providing a permanent fix for the people who had registered under DACA. The program allowed them to continue working or studying in the U.S. temporarily without the fear of deportation.
“That got people’s attention,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon, told reporters after the meeting.
WATCH: Trump on Border Wall
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