WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he is ready to support a path to US citizenship for the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers if Congress agrees to fund his proposed wall on the Mexican border.
In exchange for creating a path to citizenship for the young undocumented migrants brought to this country as children, Trump wants Congress to approve $30 billion in funding for border security, including $25 billion for building a wall along the US-Mexico border, the president told reporters at the White House.
Trump added that if lawmakers in Congress cannot reach an agreement for the 800,000 Dreamers, he could extend the deadline for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protecting them from deportation beyond March 5, the date he had set last September by which legislators had to find an alternative solution.
“We’re going to morph into it,” Trump said regarding citizenship for the Dreamers.
“It’s going to happen – over a period of 10 to 12 years. If somebody’s done a great job and worked hard,” the president said before departing for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
However, the president tweeted on Wednesday that “if there is no Wall, there is no DACA,” and told reporters that the wall could be less than the $25 billion he was requesting since it would run for some 800 miles along the border, rather than along the entire 1,989-mile frontier.
Trump issued the Twitter warning about the wall one day after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer withdrew his offer to provide funds for building the barrier.
Democrats are demanding that Republicans approve an immigration agreement that would provide a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, but the president is demanding that in exchange for that funds be allocated to build the border wall.