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Trump warns: ‘Last chance’ to ‘solve the DACA puzzle’

Trump warns: ‘Last chance’ to ‘solve the DACA puzzle’
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE warned early Tuesday that negotiations now underway on the future of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children “will be our last chance” to "solve the DACA puzzle."

“Negotiations on DACA have begun,” he tweeted, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“Republicans want to make a deal and Democrats say they want to make a deal. 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.”

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The Senate on Monday evening started debate on the future of DACA recipients, often called “Dreamers.”

Trump announced last year that he was ending the Obama-era DACA program, which offered Dreamers a temporary reprieve from deportation, as well as work permits.

He gave Congress until March 5 to craft a legislative fix, sending lawmakers scrambling to negotiate a deal to enshrine the program's protections into law. A federal judge early this year, however, temporarily blocked Trump’s plan to end the program.

Lawmakers have so far struggled to reach consensus on the issue. A fight in the Senate over whether to include a DACA fix in a short-term government funding bill last month led to a three-day shutdown. 

While Trump suggested last year that he would revisit the matter if lawmakers had not yet addressed it by his deadline, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE signaled last week that the president was not likely to give Congress more time to act.

— Max Greenwood contributed to this report, which was updated at 7:27 a.m.