President Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress agreed to work toward a deal that would protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation in exchange for new border security measures, the lawmakers said Wednesday.
Trump discussed the agreement during a dinner at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
But afterward, the two sides disputed key details of the proposal, raising questions about whether a deal had actually been reached. The Democratic leaders said the border-security measures would not include funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the president,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement. “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
Less than an hour later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back on Schumer and Pelosi’s account.
“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” she said in an email.
Trump sent lawmakers scrambling to address hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program when he terminated it last week. The Obama-era program offered a temporary reprieve from deportation to certain young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The president has appeared increasingly willing to work with Democrats in recent days after bitterly fighting them during the first seven months of his presidency. He is hoping Schumer and Pelosi can help him deliver the votes for an immigration bill and other legislative priorities this fall.
In an earlier statement, the White House called the dinner “constructive” and said the conversations centered on “tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade.”
The Democratic leaders said they also urged the president to make some key ObamaCare subsidies permanent.
Trump told a bipartisan group of moderate lawmakers earlier Wednesday that he wants them to find a quick solution for DACA recipients.