WASHINGTON – Congressional Democratic leaders said on Wednesday in a statement they had reached a tentative agreement with US President Donald Trump to work together to advance legislation protecting about 800,000 “Dreamers.”
The “Dreamers” are undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children who have had some protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an immigration policy that has protected them from deportation and granted them work permits.
The Democrats said they agreed to negotiate a budget package to bolster US-Mexico border security that is “acceptable to both parties,” but does not include any financial support for Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico.
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the president. The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly,” said the Democratic leaders in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, and the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who had dinner with Trump on Wednesday.
The White House also gave its version of the meeting in a statement, but it did not speak of agreements of any kind with Schumer and Pelosi.
The White House said Trump and Democratic leaders “had a constructive working dinner” in which they discussed “policy and legislative priorities,” including “tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade.”
The US administration said the meeting was a “positive step” toward Trump’s strong commitment to “bipartisan solutions” for the issues most important to all Americans, and that it looked forward to “continuing these conversations” with the Democratic leaders.
Trump halted DACA last week, a program promoted in 2012 by former President Barack Obama.
The suspension has not fully come into force as the president gave Congress a six-month period to find an alternative to Obama’s program.