- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 14, 2018

PALM BEACH, Fla. | President Trump on Sunday accused Democrats of purposely blowing up a deal to fix DACA and potentially causing a government shutdown this week.

“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” Mr. Trump said in a tweet.

“I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST,” he tweeted.

Mr. Trump and congressional negotiators are looking for a permanent fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, that granted temporary deportation amnesty to so-called “Dreamers,” the illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

The issue has become entwined with a spending bill that must pass by Friday to stop a government shutdown.

The president has demanded extra border security, including funding for a wall, as well as an end to family-based chain migration and the visa lottery program.

The deal hit a snag after reports Thursday that Mr. Trump told lawmakers at a meeting on immigration at the that the U.S. didn’t need more immigrants from “sh—hole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

The report, which Mr. Trump denied, set off an onslaught of accusations that the president was a racist.

Among those present at the meeting were Sen. Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who presented a compromise that included using the 50,000 visas from the current lottery to extend protection to illegal immigrants from countries such as Haiti and El Salvador.

Mr. Trump ended protective status for 250,000 Salvadorans this week.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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