President Donald Trump warned early Tuesday morning that the present round of immigration negotiations over the DACA program “will be our last chance” to reach an agreement on the issue and called for a bipartisan deal.
“Negotiations on DACA have begun. Republicans want to make a deal and Democrats say they want to make a deal,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle. This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th.”
Trump set off negotiations over DACA – an Obama-era program that shields undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportation – when he discontinued the program last fall. The president’s decision to end DACA came with a six-month delay, essentially a window for Congress to codify DACA protections into law, that will close March 5.
When Trump initially announced he would end DACA, he promised that he would treat the program’s beneficiaries with “great heart” and that he would “revisit this issue” should Congress fail to strike a deal by his self-imposed deadline. On Tuesday, Trump seemed to suggest that such a revisit was no longer on the table.
The president, for his part, has laid out a framework for a DACA deal that would include a path to citizenship for Dreamers as well as significant immigration reforms and funding for border security, including money for his long-promised border wall. While offering a path to citizenship would be celebrated by Democrats, they have thus far been resistant to Trump’s other demands.
Already, negotiations over DACA have become contentious on Capitol Hill, where an impasse on the issue led to a brief government shutdown last month.