Washington, March 15 (IANS) US President Donald Trump is open to an agreement to find a temporary solution for undocumented youths known as “Dreamers” in exchange for funding to build a border wall, a White House official has said.
White House officials were negotiating with Congress to find a bipartisan solution to the issues of Dreamers and the wall, which could become part of a budget measure that lawmakers must pass before March 23.
The White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that the President was looking for a permanent solution, but that he was also willing to negotiate a provisional agreement.
The official did not say what such an agreement would look like, as it was still being negotiated, but confirmed that the White House was willing to restrict the negotiation exclusively to the issues of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme and the wall.
This would exclude two of Trump’s former demands: eliminating the diversity visa lottery, a programme that grants 50,000 immigrant visas per year, and putting additional limits on family reunification visas.
The two points generated considerable backlash from Democrats in February, when Congress and the White House failed to reach an agreement to replace DACA, established in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama to give certain undocumented migrants who entered the US as minors a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and a work permit.
Trump had initially offered a pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million undocumented youths — outnumbering the close to 700,000 DACA recipients — in exchange for the two visa-programme reforms and $25 billion over a decade to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Although Trump had announced the end of DACA, establishing March 5 as the date when recipients would begin to lose their protections, the programme had been temporarily upheld by several courts, which ordered the government to continue to accept new applicants as well as renewals.