WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — President Trump said he was ready to strike a deal on DACA but Democrats won’t do it, again raising the stakes in a budget standoff over immigration that threatens a government shutdown this week.
“We are ready willing and able to make a deal on DACA, but I don’t think the Democrats want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “The folks from DACA should know the Democrats are the ones that aren’t going to make a deal.”
The president upped the pressure on Democrats in repose to questions from reporters as he entered Trump International Golf Club, accompanied by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who was his dinner guest.
“Honestly, I don’t think the Democrats want to make a deal. I think they talk about DACA but they don’t want to help the DACA people,” said Mr. Trump.
The president and congressional negotiators are looking for a permanent fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, that granted temporary deportation amnesty to “Dreamers,” the illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Mr. Trump stressed that those illegal immigrants are no longer children.
The president has demanded extra border security, including funding for a wall, as well as an end to family-based chain migration and the visa lottery program.
The deal hit a snag after reports Thursday that Mr. Trump told lawmakers at a meeting on immigration at the that the U.S. didn’t need more immigrants from “sh—hole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries.
The report, which Mr. Trump denied, set off an onslaught of accusations that the president was a racist.
Among those present at the meeting were Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who presented a compromise that included using the 50,000 visas from the current lottery to extend protection to illegal immigrants from countries such as Haiti and El Salvador.
Mr. Trump ended protective status for 250,000 Salvadorans this week.
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