President Donald Trump criticized Democrats Monday over the congressional impasse on protections for young undocumented immigrants, accusing them of not caring about the issue on the date he initially set as the deadline to extend the program.
"It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA," the president tweeted. "Gave them 6 months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal!"
Trump said in September he was ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gave protection from deportation and work permits to people in the U.S. illegally who entered as children. He gave lawmakers until Monday to extend the program, though court rulings later nullified that deadline.
Congress last month failed to pass a series of immigration proposals to extend DACA, including a bipartisan measure that garnered 54 of the 60 needed votes in the Senate — but fell short after the president voiced opposition to it.
The White House says a deal on DACA must also include funding for Trump's controversial proposal to build a wall along the southern U.S.-border, a call that has drawn rebukes from advocacy groups and Democratic officials. The White House's plan fell well short of the votes needed in the Senate in February.
Still, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday called it "pathetic" that lawmakers have yet to find a compromise on immigration.
“It’s Congress’ job to pass laws, and the president has laid out what he wants to see in them," Sanders told reporters. "The sad part is that both Republicans and Democrats don’t disagree on most of the merits of this legislation.”
She added: “The fact that they can’t actually come together and get something done is pathetic.”
"I think it’s absolutely terrible that Congress has failed to act," Sanders said. "The president has given them six months, and he also gave them a plan.”