WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Fresh off a huge win on tax reform, President Donald Trump will now try to use the art of the deal to push Democrats into approving funding for a border wall.
That means this week is a crucial one for Dreamers.
During a Saturday press conference at Camp David, President Donald Trump said, “We all want DACA to happen, but we also want great security for our country. So important.”
DACA is the protection for about 800,000 Dreamers, people who grew up in America but were brought to the country illegally -- as children.
The White House says the price of doing business on a DACA deal is several immigration policy changes, including at least $18 billion for a border wall.
White House Deputy Press Secretary, Raj Shah, said, “Well I’m not going to draw lines in the sand, I’m going to let the president and our advisers discuss these issues with Democrats. But our priorities are very clear.”
Unlike the tax reform win, these immigration priorities need at least nine Senate Democrats to become reality, and that may mean some arm twisting to get those votes.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said, “Border security measures are reasonable, not… not his [President Trump] wall.”
Last Friday, the Senate’s number two Democrat, Illinois’ Dick Durbin, called the White House’s attempt to use a DACA deal as leverage for wall funding “outrageous.”
It sets the stage for a potential showdown as the White House meets with House and Senate Republicans and Democrats this week.
Current Dreamer protection expires in March, but three former Homeland Security secretaries are telling Congress it needs to act in the next few weeks, because a new protection program will take months to set up.