DACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall
Trump: ‘Republicans want to fix DACA far more than the Democrats do’
President Trump claimed Saturday that Republican lawmakers are far more eager to address protections for young immigrants than Democrats, accusing them of seizing on the issue for political gain.
"Republicans want to fix DACA far more than the Democrats do," Trump tweeted. "The Dems had all three branches of government back in 2008-2011, and they decided not to do anything about DACA. They only want to use it as a campaign issue. Vote Republican!"
Lawmakers have struggled for months over an effort to enshrine the legal protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program into law after Trump announced in September that he would rescind the Obama-era program.
DACA offers immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children - known as "Dreamers" - a temporary reprieve from deportation, as well as permission to work and go to school.
Trump has said that any legislative solution for Dreamers must also include funding for border security and his long-promised wall between the U.S. and Mexico - a demand that Democrats have largely rejected.
The effort to extend DACA's protections was at the center of a three-day government shutdown last month, when Democrats declined to back a short-term spending bill that did not include an immigration solution.
After that shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the chamber would hold a vote on DACA legislation in February.
But Republican leaders in the House have been more reluctant in their approach to such a measure. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) this week rejected criticism that he is not serious about addressing the matter, saying that, while he's willing to take on the issue, he wants to vote on a bill that "the president will sign."
Ryan's comments came after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) delivered a record-setting eight-hour speech, in which she pledged to oppose a two-year spending deal unless it included an immigration fix. That bill eventually passed.