Originally Published in Politico.com.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday it is “highly unlikely” he would agree to any border security compromise that addresses the DACA program, telling The Daily Caller in an interviewthat he’d leave the fate of the Obama-era program up to the Supreme Court for the time being.
“I could see myself doing something for DACA but I want to find out what the Supreme Court is going to do first,” he said, despite having offered Democrats some temporary relief for DACA recipients earlier this month.
The Supreme Court earlier this month also appeared to rebuff Trump's request for quick action to resolve lawsuits over his attempt to wind down the program.
Trump had previously vowed to undo DACA, under which undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children were protected from deportation. But the president has also pledged to treat DACA recipients, often referred to as Dreamers, with compassion.
Democrats, who previously offered the president billions of dollars in wall funding in exchange for a permanent DACA solution, have thus far been cool on the notion of a deal involving temporary DACA relief in exchange for border wall funding, holding firm in rejecting Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.Email
The president also responded to requests from some Democrats that he stay out of bipartisan negotiations on a border security package, saying that he does not blame Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for making such a recommendation but warning that “without our involvement, a deal is not going to get done.”
A bipartisan committee of lawmakers from both houses of Congress met Wednesday afternoon for the first time to work out the specifics of a Homeland Security spending bill that can satisfy lawmakers in both parties as well as the president. Still, Trump warned that an emergency declaration to bypass lawmakers and use military resources to build a border wall wasn’t off the table if Congress fails to strike a deal he approves of.
Trump appeared confident that declaring a national emergency would survive legal challenges, telling The Daily Caller that he has “very good law on our side.”
“We have a tremendous amount of money to build a wall,” he said without offering further details. “In addition to that, we can declare a national emergency if this doesn’t work out.”
He also dinged former House Speaker Paul Ryan for not delivering wall funding when Republicans were in control of the House of Representatives. Trump alleged that Ryan promised him in no uncertain terms that GOP lawmakers would deliver on Trump’s campaign promise to build the border wall in exchange for Trump’s signature on a massive omnibus last spring.
“And then he went lame duck,” Trump said, referring to Ryan’s announcement that he would not run for reelection. “And once he went lame duck it was just really an exercise in waving to people and the power was gone so I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I’ll get the wall.”