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With shutdown looming, Trump flip-flops repeatedly on DACA

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In tweets published early Monday morning, President Trump appeared to once again offer conflicting messages on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Referencing comments made in Palm Beach, Florida on Sunday evening, the president repeated his condemnation of Democrats for failing to reach a deal on immigration reform:


The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has emerged as a lightning rod in budget talks, with a number of Democrats indicating they will not vote for any continuing resolution to keep the government open after funding expires this Friday unless a deal is reached. DACA, an Obama-era directive, temporarily granted protective status to around 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. But in September, the Trump administration announced it would end the program, leaving the lives of DACA recipients — also called DREAMers — in an alarming state of limbo.

The White House has called on Congress to find a solution, but that process hasn’t gone smoothly. Immigration proponents are advocating for DREAMer protections, as well as the restoration of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from countries facing severe domestic challenges, including Haiti and El Salvador. But the president has shown little interest in sacrificing his hard-line demands, including funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and massive alterations to the diversity visa lottery.

Trump has contradicted himself repeatedly throughout immigration negotiations. On Tuesday he called for a “bill of love” and told lawmakers that “you folks are going to have to come up with a solution, and if you do, I will sign that solution.” But he almost immediately appeared to walk those statements back, a pattern that repeated itself throughout the week.

On Thursday afternoon, the White House quickly rejected a tentative bipartisan immigration deal. By Sunday morning, Trump seemed prepared to declare DACA no longer viable, blaming his political opponents for the back-and-forth.

“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk,” the president wrote on Sunday.


Other comments from the White House have only further inflamed the issue. During a Thursday bipartisan meeting with lawmakers, Trump reportedly decried immigrants coming to the United States from “shithole countries,” comments the White House initially did not deny. On Sunday night, Trump again blamed Democrats over failure to reach a deal, while appearing to name DACA as a location, rather than a presidential directive.


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