US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that a program that protects illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children from being deported would “probably” be discontinued, Reuters reported.
Trump has said he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and his Twitter comments on Sunday came as lawmakers worked on a bipartisan compromise on immigration policy.
Efforts to extend the program are further complicated because it could make a funding bill to avert a government shutdown due Friday more difficult.
“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our military,” Trump said on Twitter. But he left a door open that a deal could be reached with Democrats in Congress.
A US judge ruled last Tuesday that DACA should remain in effect until legal challenges brought in multiple courts are resolved.
The debate over immigration policy became increasingly acrimonious after it was reported on Thursday that the president described immigrants from Haiti and Africa as coming from “shithole countries” in a private meeting with lawmakers.
The comments led to harsh recriminations from Democrats and Republicans alike, even as bipartisan talks continued in Congress. It has distracted from the policy discussion of not only DACA, but of broader issues like immigration based on merit, which the president says he favors over a policy of family reunification, what he calls “chain immigration.”