The White House and congressional Democrats traded proposals over the weekend about how to fix an Obama-era program protecting hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation, Fox News has learned.
A source familiar with the talks said discussions broke down after Democrats rejected a bid by the Trump administration to extend protections for those enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program until the fall of 2020. In exchange, the White House would receive $25 billion in funding for President Trump's long-sought wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Democrats countered with an offer to provide funding for the wall in exchange for a pathway to citizenship for all 1.8 million DACA-eligible immigrants -- as opposed to the estimated 800,000 who are enrolled in the program. At that point, the source told Fox News the talks broke down.
"The Democrats do not want to help DACA. Would be so easy to make a deal!" Trump tweeted Monday night.
The immigration talks were part of larger negotiations on a $1.3 trillion catchall spending bill, which would have to pass Congress by midnight Friday to avert another government shutdown.
Trump ended the DACA program in September of last year, but a court decision has essentially left it in place, for now. The president also traveled to California last week to inspect prototypes for the border wall, but what's pending now is $1.6 billion for earlier designs involving sections in Texas that double as levees and 14 miles of replacement fencing in San Diego.
It appears Democrats may be willing to accept wall funding, but they are battling hard against Trump's demands for big increases for immigration agents and detention beds they fear would enable wide-scale roundups of immigrants illegally living in the U.S.
Fox News' Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.