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Trump Says He Won’t Extend DACA Protection for ‘Dreamers’ Without Money for a Border Wall

December 29, 2017, 4:46 PM UTC

President Donald Trump said he would insist legislation extending deportation protection to those brought to the U.S. illegally as children include funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump also said he would demand an end to a program that allows immigrants to sponsor family members to join them in the U.S., and a State Department program designed to offer immigrant visas to people from countries with low rates of migration to the U.S.

Read: First Latina Fortune 500 CEO: Here’s What Should Be Done About DACA

“The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration,” Trump said in a Twitter message Friday from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Trump earlier this year announced that he was ending the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, saying Justice Department lawyers had concluded it was unconstitutional. DACA protections are set to expire by March 1 if Congress doesn’t take action.

Democrats have said they don’t support the president’s effort to construct a border wall or impose new limits on the immigration system. It’s expected they will attempt to use the expiration of government funding in January to pressure the White House to strike a deal on immigration that pairs a renewal of DACA with moderate new immigration enforcement measures.

Read: What DACA Has to Do With a Government Shutdown

Congressional leaders of both parties are scheduled to meet with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Jan. 3 to discuss the spending bill, immigration and other matters.

“We’re not going to negotiate through the press and look forward to a serious negotiation at Wednesday’s meeting when we come back,” Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, said in an email.

Bigger Changes

Trump has sought to build support for his more significant changes to the immigration system by pointing to recent terror attacks in New York City.

Akayed Ullah, 27, a green-card holder from Bangladesh accused of detonating a bomb in a New York subway tunnel this month, came to the U.S. in 2011 on a visa available to nieces and nephews of U.S. citizens. Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old from Uzbekistan who’s alleged to have mowed down people on a bike path with a pickup truck in New York on Halloween, came to the U.S. in 2010 on a visa obtained through the lottery program.

Read: Apple, GM, and Best Buy Join Dreamers Coalition Lobbying for DACA

“Both terrorists came to our country through the dysfunctional immigration system that we are correcting, rapidly,” Trump said earlier this month during a speech at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

Kelly met with Democrats last week in Washington to discuss a path forward on a possible immigration bill.