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In a series of tweets Thursday, President Donald Trump declared he had not reached an agreement with top congressional Democrats to shield about 800,000 young immigrants from deportation.
He was responding to a statement by Congress' two top Democrats who said such a deal had been reached during their dinner meeting with Trump on the White House on Wednesday.
"No deal was made last night on DACA," Trump tweeted. "Would be subject to vote."
The president then reiterated his promise to build a wall on Mexican border, saying the barrier "is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls."
Despite Trump's insistence on establishing the wall, he tweeted sympathy for those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which offered young illegal immigrants an eventual path to permanent residency and citizenship.
"Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?" Trump asked.
"They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own," he continued.
The DACA program had been established by executive order by President Barack Obama. On Sept. 5, Trump rescinded the program, saying Obama had overreached his authority in setting up DACA. Trump said the program would be phased out in six months, unless Congress came up with a fix. Trump later adopted a softer tone toward the 800,000 immigrants protected by DACA, telling them not to worry about being deported.
The tweets came in response to a statement by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi after they dined at the White House. "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," the statement said.