Trump: Program to Protect 'Dreamers' Is 'Probably Dead' - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Trump: Program to Protect 'Dreamers' Is 'Probably Dead'

President-Trump last week rejected an immigration deal drafted by a bipartisan group of senators

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump: Any Solution on Immigration Must Include Border Wall

    President Trump says any solution on DACA and immigration must include a border wall; continues to deny collusion with Russia during 2016 election. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018)

    President Donald Trump said Sunday that a program that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children is "probably dead," casting a cloud over already tenuous negotiations just days before a deadline on a government funding deal that Democrats have tied to immigration.

    At issue is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by President Barack Obama to shield hundreds of thousands of these individuals, known as "Dreamers," from deportation. Trump, who has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, announced last year that he will end the program unless Congress comes up with a solution by March.

    "DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military," the Republican president tweeted. "I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST."

    Republicans and Democrats were already at odds over funding the government, and the negotiations became more complicated after Democrats — whose votes are needed to pass a government funding bill — insisted immigration be included. Government funding expires midnight Friday without a deal in place, and some government functions will begin to go dark.

    Lawmakers Fight Over DACA and Border Security

    [NATL] Lawmakers Fight Over DACA and Border Security

    Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree on the need for legalizing young immigrants under DACA, but cannot agree on the timeline for tackling border security. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has proposed a two-step plan for comprehensive immigration reform by taking care of DACA and border security first before attempting to reform the country's immigration system itself. 

    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018)

    Further roiling the talks are comments by Trump during an Oval Office meeting in which he questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the U.S., along with Africans from "shithole" countries, according to people briefed on the conversation but not authorized to describe it publicly. He also said in the Thursday meeting he would prefer immigrants from countries like Norway instead. The White House has not denied that Trump said the word "shithole," though Trump did push back on some depictions of the meeting.

    A confidant of Trump's told The Associated Press that the president spent Thursday evening calling friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction on his inflammatory remarks. Trump wasn't apologetic and denied he was racist, instead blaming the media for distorting his meaning, said the confidant, who wasn't authorized to disclose a private conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The president also rejected as insufficient an immigration deal drafted by the bipartisan group of lawmakers who attended that meeting. The deal had included a pathway to citizenship for the "Dreamers" that would take up to 12 years, as well as $1.6 billion for border security, including Trump's promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump's staunchest supporters consider any route to citizenship for the "Dreamers" amnesty for lawbreakers.

    The president has said any deal must include funding for the wall as well as changes to make the immigration system a more merit-based structure.

    The debate over DACA's fate came as lawmakers were forced to answer questions about whether Trump is racist.

    Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, the first black female Republican in Congress and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, denounced Trump's comments as racist and called on him to apologize. "I think that would show real leadership," she said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

    'Late Night’: A Closer Look at GOP’s Defense of Kavanaugh

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: A Closer Look at GOP’s Defense of Kavanaugh

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at President Donald Trump visiting North Carolina to survey damage from Hurricane Florence and Republicans making it clear they have no interest in hearing the truth about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018)

    Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who was at Thursday's Oval Office meeting, insisted Sunday that Trump did not say "shithole" in referring to African countries.

    "I am telling you that he did not use that word. And I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation," Perdue said on ABC's "This Week." He said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., were mistaken in indicating earlier that that was the case.

    Perdue and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., had issued a joint statement Friday saying they "do not recall the President saying those comments specifically." Cotton said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he "didn't hear" the vulgar word used.

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who also attended Thursday's meeting at the Oval Office, said, "I don't recall that specific phrase being used."

    Nielsen did dispute, however, Trump's assertion that DACA was "probably dead."

    "I do not believe DACA is dead," Nielsen said on "Fox News Sunday." She said that the bipartisan proposal rejected by Trump did not address core security issues facing her department and that Trump's administration was not interested in "half measures."

    Sen. Hirono Tells Men to 'Shut Up and Step Up'

    [NATL] Sen. Hirono Tells Men to 'Shut Up and Step Up'

    Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii addressed "the men in this country" during a Tuesday press conference.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018)

    Perdue said that "the potential is there" for a deal to protect the "Dreamers" but that Democrats needed to get serious.

    Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., defended the agreement as a "principled compromise" on NBC's "Meet the Press" and said, "I hope people will explore it."