Donald Trump Demands Border Wall Agreement Before Saving DACA

The president called for a wall along the southern border and an end to chain migration before fixing the program that saves hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The president called for a wall along the southern border and an end to chain migration before fixing the program that saves hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation.

Hundreds of thousands of young people face deportation in March if Congress doesn’t take action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But president Donald Trump just made the issue a whole lot more complicated on Friday when he tweeted demands for his long-promised border wall and other immigration policies in exchange for saving these young immigrants.

Taking to Twitter, Trump wrote that there could be no agreement on DACA unless he got his wall on the Mexican border, an end to chain migration and the lottery system of immigrants, and more.

“The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets that covered a number of topics, including immigration, the postal service, his approval ratings, and more.

DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the United States as children illegally, from deportation.

Trump ended DACA back in September with a six-month delay, giving Congress a March 5 deadline to pass legislation to save the program. However, despite the majority of people supporting DACA, Congress was unable to come up with an agreement before the end of the year, keeping these young people’s futures in uncertainty.

Activists protest Congress to save DACA.
Congress has until March to save the DACA program. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Now the president’s demands have made a bipartisan effort to save these young people from deportation even more difficult. Democrats have indicated that they would compromise on border security in exchange for fixing DACA. But in the past, Democrats like Chuck Schumer have said that Dreamers shouldn’t be used as a “bargaining chip” for the border wall. They also argued that a wall along the southern border would be ineffectual in actually stopping illegal immigration.

Trump, however, famously campaigned for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and even promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, so he wants to keep that promise. The wall, though, has been highly controversial, with many of its critics calling it ineffective and offensive.

Besides demanding the wall, Trump called for an end to chain migration, which is immigration through extended family members. Trump recently blamed the program for an attempted terror attack in New York City.

Congress is expected to talk about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in January.