Donald Trump has denied making a “deal” on immigration with senior Democrats.
“No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” the President tweeted.
Democratic leaders had announced an agreement to pursue a legislative solution to protect young, undocumented migrants who had been brought to the US as children.
DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—is an Obama-era policy that has allowed 690,000 so-called “dreamers” to work and go to school without fear of deportation.
Mr Trump has moved to dismantle the programme, and said he expected Congress to pursue a permanent plan to protect its beneficiaries. He offered a six-month delay until dreamers’ two-year work permits begin to expire in March.
Mr Trump met with liberal higher-ups Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. The Democrats later announced: “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.”
Earlier in the day, Mr Trump had held a bipartisan meeting with a group of House members after which several Democrats involved said the President had made clear he did not expect border wall funding to be included in a legislative deal on the dreamers.
But on Thursday his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted: “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
Mr Trump also moved to dispel rumours he had agreed to forgo building the now-infamous wall on the US-Mexico border he had promised during his campaign.
In a second tweet, he said: “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.”
Mr Schumer and Ms Pelosi made an updated statement on Thursday. They said: “What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalising all details as soon as possible.
“While both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement, the President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it.”
Mr Trump continued: “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!.....
“...They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age.”