Trump lays out immigration deal demands

Washington, Dec 30 (IANS): US President Donald Trump has said that there will be no deal to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation without funding to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, the media reported.

"The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed wall at the Southern Border and an end to the horrible Chain Migration and ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc," Trump tweeted on Friday.

"We must protect our Country at all cost!"

Trump's declaration casts doubt over how Democrats and Republicans will come together to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants, of which there are nearly 800,000 who were brought to the United States illegal as children, from deportation because it is unlikely that Democrats will agree to substantial funding for Trump's border wall in exchange for DACA protections, CNN reported.

Drew Hammill, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's spokesman, responded to Trump's tweet late Friday by stating that Democrats were "not going to negotiate through the press and look forward to a serious negotiation at Wednesday's (January 3) meeting when we come back".

Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will meet on January 3.

The top discussion topic will be renewed government spending talks.

Trump's tweet is his clearest statement to date on his negotiating position with Democrats to achieve a deal on DACA, programmme launched by former President Barack Obama that Trump ended in September.

Trump has demanded that funding for the border wall would need to be part of any deal, but it remains unclear how far he would be willing to go to protect DACA recipients.

Earlier this year, the President had said that his administration was not looking at "citizenship" or "amnesty" but that they are "looking at allowing people to stay here".

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