President Trump taunted Democratic lawmakers Tuesday over their inability to work out a deal on the Obama-era program granting protection to illegal immigrants who entered the country as children -- slamming their alleged inaction and asking: “Where are you?”
The Trump administration announced in September the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, would expire on March 5, while Trump also called for Congress to come up with a legislative fix for those who it would have protected.
But multiple attempts to get a deal have stalled, particularly as lawmakers look to fix DACA as part of broader comprehensive immigration reform bills.
"Total inaction on DACA by Dems. Where are you? A deal can be made!" Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
In another tweet Tuesday, Trump accused Dems of "running for the hills."
The tweets came a day after Trump had said the Democrats are “nowhere to be found” on DACA.
Congress does, however, have more time to find a legislative fix after court orders have postponed the deadline.
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 -- brought to the U.S. by their parents and protected under DACA. However, that order does not apply to first-time applicants.
Senate Democrats forced a three-day government shutdown in January when they refused to pass a temporary spending bill that did not include a DACA fix. Ultimately, they voted for the bill in exchange for a Republican promise to allow an open process on immigration reform.
That process has so far yielded a number of proposals, all of which have failed to gain enough support in the Senate to pick up the 60 votes needed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Trump last month of trying to spike a deal when he rejected one of the bipartisan proposals as a "total catastrophe."
“Why? Because it isn’t 100 percent of what the president wants on immigration? That’s not how our democracy works – you don’t get 100 percent of what you want in a democracy,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Maybe in a dictatorship.”
Among those rejected included a proposal from the White House that would include a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants as part of an immigration package that included $25 billion for a wall and other border enforcement measures and sharp cuts to legal immigration.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. said last week that members are moving forward with a plan that would address DACA and the president’s other priorities of building a southern border wall, ending so-called “chain migration” and changing a federal immigration program from a lottery to a merit-based system.
“We are continuing to fix the DACA problem that was left on our doorstep when Barack Obama created a program that had no resolution,” Scalise said. “Now is the time to solve that problem. And we’re working to get that consensus.”
Another shutdown looms on March 23, the deadline for Congress to pass another spending bill to keep the government running, where a DACA fix could form part of that negotiation as well.
Fox News’ Joseph Weber and the Associated Press contributed to this report.