DACA latest: Chuck Schumer calls off Mexico border wall deal with Trump over Dreamers repeal

The President 'missed an opportunity to get the wall,' a Democratic aide says

Emily Shugerman
New York
Tuesday 23 January 2018 18:31 GMT
Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference
Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has reportedly withdrawn an offer to give Donald Trump more than $1.6bn for his proposed border wall, after Congress failed to pass protections for undocumented childhood immigrants.

Mr Schumer had suggested last week that Democrats allow funding for the wall in exchange for a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme. Now, that deal is off the table.

“[Mr Schumer] called the White House yesterday and said it’s over," Senator Dick Durban said on Tuesday, according to Politico.

Democrats shut down the federal government over the weekend in an attempt to force a vote on DACA, the Obama-era programme that shields some childhood immigrants from deportation. The Democrats originally refused to pass a government spending bill that did not include protections for the so-called "Dreamers," but relented on Monday.

Mr Trump and other Republicans proclaimed the shutdown a failure for Democrats. But those close to Mr Schumer attempted to paint it as a loss for the President, who they claimed would not get a more generous offer on border wall funding.

Mr Trump, one Democratic aide told Politico, “missed an opportunity to get the wall".

But Republicans are unlikely to go for a DACA deal that does not also include border wall funding. Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he wanted "a big win for everyone" – with a focus on the military and border security.

John Kelly says Donald Trump has changed his view on the border wall

The President's signature campaign promise has been plagued by a lack of funding. The previous government funding deal contained no new money for the wall, though it allocated $341m for replacing fencing and levee gates along the US-Mexico border.

The White House told Congress this month that it wanted $18bn for the first phase of the wall over the next 10 years – a figure Democratic legislators dismissed as ridiculous.

“President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall," Mr Durbin told the Washington Post at the time. "With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction."

Congress faces the possibility of another shutdown in early February, when the government will once again run out of money. Democrats and Republicans will have to come to yet another agreement – likely including both DACA and the wall – to keep the lights on.

“We’re here to fight another day,” Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego told Politico. “I think we still have an opportunity to win this.”

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