President Trump said Democrats are "nowhere to be found" on Monday--the deadline he imposed on Congress to propose a permanent fix to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that shields hundreds of thousands of undocumented "dreamers" from deportation.
“It’s March 5th and Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA,” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon. “Gave them 6 months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal!”
Trump announced in September 2017 that he would end DACA by March 5—Monday—arguing Congress must craft legislation for a more permanent, legally-sound program than former President Barack Obama’s executive order.
DACA protects from deportation an estimated 700,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors by their parents.
Despite Trump’s imposed deadline, court orders have postponed the end of the program, and have left Congress lacking a sense of urgency to come up with a solution.
A nationwide injunction in January by a federal judge in San Francisco requires the Trump administration to resume renewing the legal status of the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants protected under DACA. The order, though, does not apply to first-time DACA applicants, and DACA recipients whose applications are pending remain at risk until their petitions are granted.
The White House and Republican lawmakers have attempted to push through proposals, often including billions in funding for Trump’s campaign promise of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congressional Democrats have blocked the proposals, and even forced a three-day government shutdown over DACA in January.
Another shutdown looms, though, with March 23 being the deadline for Congress to pass another spending bill.
Currently, the House Republican leadership is backing a bill by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., which appears to meet the president’s standards. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has said he will consider all proposals, but won’t hold a vote on an immigration reform bill that the president could reject.
Earlier this year, Trump released his “four pillars” of immigration reform, which included a provision for legal status for DACA recipients and others who would be eligible for DACA status. The White House estimated the total to be 1.8 million people. The Senate, though, rejected the plan, as it included $25 billion in funding for the wall.
Fox News' Joseph Weber contributed to this report.