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The Latest: Lawmakers, White House squabble over immigrants

Fri, September 15, 2017 03:07 EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and immigration (all times local):

9:25 p.m.

The fate of 800,000 young immigrants is hanging in the balance as top lawmakers, White House officials and President Donald Trump himself squabble over whether an agreement has been struck to protect them — and if so, what it is.

GOP House members insist there is no agreement to enshrine protections for the immigrants brought to America as children and now here illegally.

Trump himself says he is "fairly close" to an agreement that could protect the young "Dreamers."

Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer insist there was discussion and even agreement on legislation that would offer eventual citizenship to the immigrants in question.

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3:30 p.m.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has been caught on a hot microphone recounting the advice he's giving to President Donald Trump.

Schumer told a colleague that he told Trump that "you're much better off if you can sometimes step right and sometimes step left."

The remarks took place on the Senate floor and were captured by C-SPAN. Schumer said Trump "likes me" but it was unclear from the video to whom Schumer was talking.

Sounding pleased, Schumer predicted, "Oh, it's going to work out, and he'll make us more productive, too."

Schumer is trying to work out a deal with Trump to give legal protections to immigrants known as "dreamers" who were illegally brought to the country as children.

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1:20 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says there is no agreement on a fix for so-called "Dreamers."

The Wisconsin Republican tells reporters that after speaking with President Donald Trump, he's confident the president did not strike a deal with Democratic leaders to resolve the status of immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as kids.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the outlines of a deal after dining Wednesday night with Trump. They said the deal would enshrine protections for younger immigrants and contain border security measures, but not Trump's long-sought wall.

Ryan says, "The president wasn't negotiating a deal last night; the president was talking with Democratic leaders to get their perspective."

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11:52 a.m.

The top Senate Republican says the program to protect young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally should be part of any discussion about immigration, border security and enforcement.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also says Congress is looking forward to getting a legislative proposal from the Trump administration. Meanwhile, the White House is insisting that's up to Congress.

The statement comes amid more confusion over statements and comments from President Donald Trump after his dinner with Democratic leaders Wednesday night.

Trump said Thursday he was "fairly close" to a deal with congressional leaders to preserve protections for young immigrants. He pushed back against the Democratic leaders, who claimed he reached a deal with them on protections for young immigrants. He also said his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would "come later."

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11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that, "ultimately," funding for a border wall with Mexico must be part of any immigration deal. But he says that funding can come at a later date.

Trump tells reporters in Florida that: "We have to have an understanding that, whether it's in the budget or some other vehicle, in a fairly short period of time, the wall will be funded."

He says, "Otherwise we're not doing anything."

Trump and Democratic leaders talked Wednesday night over dinner about what to do with the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer announced they'd reached an agreement with Trump that does not include wall funding. But the White House says that's premature.

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11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he's "not looking at citizenship" for young immigrants living in the in U.S. illegally and "not looking at amnesty."

But Trump tells reporters in Florida that: "We're looking at allowing people to stay here."

Trump was referring to the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who've been protected from deportation and given permission to work in the country under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump says he's been working with both Democrats and Republicans to come up with a solution before a six-month deadline he imposed.

Trump is denying he reached a deal with Democrats on the issue Wednesday night, but says that: "Everybody's on board."

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10:55 a.m.

A spokeswoman says President Donald Trump "does not support amnesty," but may be open to a pathway to citizenship for some people living in the country illegally.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters tells reporters traveling with the president to Florida that "the Trump administration will not be discussing amnesty."

But she says the president wants "a responsible path forward" on immigration reform that "could include legal citizenship over a period of time." She later said that is just one possible example of what Congress might do.

Walters is also repeating the president's assertion that "no deal" was made on protections for young immigrants during a dinner Wednesday night between the president and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

She says they had "a constructive conversation," but "there was no deal made."

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10:36 a.m.

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders have reached an understanding on protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

That's the word Thursday from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. Speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer said: "We all agreed on a framework. ... We agreed the president would enshrine DACA protections into law ... What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security."

Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dined with Trump at the White House on Wednesday night and issued a statement on an agreement.

On Thursday morning, Trump said he's "fairly close" to reaching a deal with congressional leaders. The president insisted he needs "massive border security."

Trump spoke after denying assertions by Democratic leaders that they reached an agreement with him on the so-called DACA program.

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8:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he's "fairly close" to reaching a deal with congressional leaders on protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But the president says he needs "massive border security."

Trump spoke Thursday morning — after denying assertions by Democratic leaders that they reached an agreement with him on the so-called DACA program.

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insist they agreed, with Trump, to "enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly" and to work out a package on border security — excluding Trump's planned wall along the U.S. southern border.

Trump told reporters Thursday morning that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agree with him on DACA.

That's after Trump tweeted early Thursday that "no deal was made last night" on the issue.

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8:30 a.m.

Democratic leaders in Congress and President Donald Trump can't seem to agree on just what it is they agreed to at a White House dinner.

Here's the version from New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi: They say there's an agreement on putting into law an Obama administration program that's given protection to certain young immigrants. These are immigrants living in the country illegally who were brought here as children to remain in the United States.

They say Trump said he'd encourage the House and Senate to act.

The leaders also say both sides agreed to work out a U.S.-Mexico border security package — but it wouldn't include Trump's border wall. They say Trump made clear he'll pursue that later.

Schumer and Pelosi in a statement that Trump's tweets Thursday morning denying a deal "are not consistent" with what took place at their dinner.

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6:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is denying assertions by the two top congressional Democrats that they have an agreement with him that will preserve protections for young immigrants in the U.S. illegally while adding border security without the wall he has coveted.

Trump sent out a series of tweets before daybreak Thursday taking issue with characterizations by Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of talks the group at a White House dinner Wednesday evening.

Schumer and Pelosi said they'd reached an agreement to restore the so-called DACA program in exchange for some additional security enhancements to ward off illegal immigration. But Trump said in a tweet: "No deal was made last night on DACA."

"Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote," the president said.

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3:40 a.m.

The top House and Senate Democrats say they have reached agreement with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of younger immigrants from deportation and fund some border security enhancements — not including Trump's coveted border wall.

The agreement represents the latest instance of Trump ditching his own party to make common cause with the opposition. It was announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi late Wednesday following a White House dinner that Republican lawmakers weren't invited to attend. It would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids who had benefited from former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which provided temporary work permits and shielded recipients from deportation.

Trump ended the program earlier this month and gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called "Dreamers" begin to expire.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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