Trump targets Dems over DACA amid shutdown talks

President Trump on Sunday hit Democrats for their hesitance to include protections for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in talks to end a prolonged government shutdown, despite his own administration’s insistence that the program be left out of negotiations.

“Democrats are saying that DACA is not worth it and don’t want to include in talks,” Trump tweeted. “Many Hispanics will be coming over to the Republican side, watch!”

{mosads}The president’s tweet contradicts comments he and Vice President Pence have made in recent days about DACA, which allows young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children to live and work here without fear of deportation.

Republicans have floated compromises to end the ongoing partial government shutdown that would include funding for Trump’s desired border wall and protections for “Dreamers” who benefit from DACA, but Democrats have expressed skepticism and the White House has stymied such proposals.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that he believes the White House and Democrats may be amenable to such a deal, and urged Trump to reopen the government for a short period of time to allow lawmakers to negotiate.

Asked last Thursday about a potential “DACA-for-wall” deal, Pence said Trump has made it clear he wants to see how the Supreme Court rules on DACA before taking any action.  

“We feel confident the Supreme Court will find DACA to have been unconstitutional,” Pence said. “At that time, he believes there will be an opportunity for us not only address the issue affecting the Dreamers, but also a range of immigration issues.”

Trump has made similar comments amid shutdown talks.

Lawmakers in both parties said a deal that packaged wall funding and DACA protections would not pass the House. Democrats said they don’t trust Trump to keep his end of any bargain, noting that GOP leadership spurned a similar agreement last year.

The impasse over wall funding has been at the center of a partial government shutdown that has lasted more than three weeks, with few signs of an imminent breakthrough.

Trump has demanded more than $5 billion to fund the wall, which Democrats have repeatedly rejected. 

In subsequent tweets on Sunday morning, the president argued a wall along the southern border would reduce crime in the U.S. He also knocked Democrats for leaving Washington, D.C., amid the shutdown, even though Republicans have left town as well. 

“The damage done to our Country from a badly broken Border – Drugs, Crime and so much that is bad – is far greater than a Shutdown, which the Dems can easily fix as soon as they come back to Washington!” he added in a later tweet.

— This report was updated at 10:40 a.m.

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