Schumer: We Have To Put ‘Meat On The Bones’ Of DACA Agreement With Trump

Seth Wenig/AP

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Thursday called Democrats’ “agreements” with President Donald Trump “productive” and a “very positive step” toward protecting DACA recipients.

Outlining the conversation he had with the President and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Wednesday evening, he said the White House and Congress still need to work out the details, or “put meat on the bones,” of the agreement.

“We agreed that the President would support enshrining the DACA protections into law,” Schumer said, speaking from the Senate floor. “What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security with the mutual goal of finalizing all the 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 that we would continue to oppose it.”

Trump corroborated Schumer’s statements Thursday morning before heading to Florida to assess Hurricane Irma damage, saying the parties are “working on a plan for DACA” and that the border wall would come “later.”

Schumer said Democrats are “for border security” but not the wall.

“We’ll never pay for the wall. It’s expensive, it’s ineffective, it involves a lot of difficult eminent domain, taking people’s property and apparently it’s not being paid for by Mexico,” he said. “ It sends a terrible symbol to the world about the U.S., about who we are, about what kind of country we are.”

He called the wall a “medieval solution to a modern problem” and said the two Democrats spoke with the President about different solutions that could incorporate “our best technology,” like drones, military sensory equipment and even rebuilding roads.

“There is still much to be done. We have to put to the meat on the bones of the agreement. Details will matter, but it was a very, very positive step for the President to commit to DACA protections without insisting on or even a debate about border walls,” Schumer said.

His comments come after there were conflicting reports about what kind of agreement the Democrats made with the President Wednesday evening.

Pelosi and Schumer put out a statement Wednesday saying they had come to a deal on DACA legislation and that funding for the border wall wouldn’t be included. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said Trump didn’t agree to no funding for the wall.

Trump confirmed that he didn’t demand funding for the wall, both on Twitter and in speaking to reporters Thursday. Many prominent members of Trump’s base have spoken out against the President over the decision.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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