President Donald Trump announced in a Daily Caller interview published Thursday morning that he’s reconsidering offering Democrats an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) Act, in return for funding a portion of the border wall, to the tune of $5 billion.
Trump indicated in his interview that he’d prefer to allow current litigation challenging both the constitutionality of the act itself and the constitutionality of his repeal to make its way through the courts before he offers any concessions on the Act, even if it means he may not get the border wall funding he’s looking for in the next round of budget negotiations.
“I could see myself doing something for DACA but I want to find out what the Supreme Court is going to do first,” Trump told the Caller, adding that he believes its “highly unlikely” that the issue will come up.
This is a significant change from just 10 days ago, when the Trump White House offered a three-year extension on DACA, in order to protect illegal immigrants from deportation actions while the Act made its way through the courts, in return for partial border wall funding. That “compromise,” offered just before the White House copped to a three week “continuing resolution” on the budget, was suppsed to entice Democrats into an eleventh hour deal, but didn’t.
Trump’s sudden lack of interest in a DACA deal might signal an unwillingness on the part of the White House to settle for anything less than complete border wall funding, something Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Thursday morning would not be part of any eventual budget deal.
Speaking to the press gallery Thursday, Pelosi was curt in her response to questions about a budget wall deal: “There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation,” she said.
On that, she and the White House may agree. President Trump tweeted Thursday morning discouraging Republicans from even attempting to sway the Speaker and suggesting that he may simply move forward with declaring border security an official national emergency, regardless of what is in the final budget deal which is expected to be inked in early February.
Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee are wasting their time. Democrats, despite all of the evidence, proof and Caravans coming, are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL. I’ve got you covered. Wall is already being built, I don’t expect much help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
“Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee are wasting their time. Democrats, despite all of the evidence, proof and Caravans coming, are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL. I’ve got you covered. Wall is already being built, I don’t expect much help!” Trump tweeted.
The White House is clearly preparing for that exigency: a Politico report from Thursday morning indicates that the White House is already drafting “a potential national emergency declaration to secure President Donald Trump’s border wall, even as lawmakers are trying to broker an immigration deal that could avert another shutdown in just over two weeks.”
A senior White House aide also assured Politico that the declaration will be “100 percent ready and coordinated,” should border wall negotiations fail as expected.