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Trump demands border wall funding for immigration fix

Xinhua,December 30, 2017 Adjust font size:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would not consider any legislative solution to protect beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without a proper commitment from Democrats.

"The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc," Trump tweeted on Friday.

The Trump administration terminated months ago the DACA program, which protected young people brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation, and asked Congress to work out a long-term solution until March.

Democrats, who have pushed for DACA to continue, have faced criticism from immigration activists and progressive groups for not demanding legislative protection for DACA recipients, often called "Dreamers," in the year-end bill to fund the government.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi previously promised not to leave Washington D.C. for the holiday without a DACA fix.

The White House said Friday that it was set to kick off talks next week with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on immigration policy, among other things.

The debate on immigration will be a critical issue in Washington in early 2018 ahead of midterm congressional elections slated for November.

Building a border wall was a major promise Trump made during his presidential campaign and he has continued to press for it publicly since taking office early this year.

The president has also called for an overhaul of the current immigration system by ending the diversity visa lottery program and chain migration while introducing a merit-based immigration system. Enditem