WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Top Congressional Democrats said Wednesday night that they have reached an agreement with President Donald Trump to protect 800,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally under the Deferred Action under Childhood Arrivals Act, or DACA.
Trump met Wednesday night with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California).
Both said they agreed to work on border security – but not a border wall.
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement.
However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said excluding the border wall was not agreed to.
Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA will end in six months, giving Congress time to find a legislative solution for the immigrants.
Sessions said DACA was an “overreach of the executive branch” that “contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences.”
The attorney general said the U.S. needs to have a lawful immigration that “serves the national interest.”
“The nation must set and enforce a limit on how many immigrants we admit each year and that means all cannot be accepted,” he said. “This does not mean they are bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way.”
The executive order, enacted by the Obama administration in 2012, protects about 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the United States by their undocumented parents, allowing the so-called “Dreamers” to enroll in the program and attend school and get work permits that are renewable every two years.
The Trump administration said it would phase out the program by allowing current permits to expire. New permit requests, which have already been submitted, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The end of the program is expected to have a six-month delay to give Congress time to decide if it wants to address the status of the law. Details of the changes were not clear, including what would happen if lawmakers failed to pass a measure by the deadline.
The day after Sessions’ announcement, 15 states and Washington, D.C. filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the issue.
The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs were New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
Also last week, Trump met with Pelosi and Schumer during a bipartisan meeting at the White House and announced a deal on the debt limit.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)