Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said during a Sunday evening interview on MSNBC that he predicts that Democrats will reject any immigration bill that would protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if it includes funding for the construction of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — known as DACA — permits immigrants, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, temporary protection from deportation and permission to legally work. Recipients of the program are often referred to as "Dreamers."
In September, President Donald Trump announced his administration would end the program, but called on Congress to find a solution for the approximately 800,000 people granted protection, according to NPR.
According to CNN, Trump has indicated that he would work with Democrats on legislation to make the DACA program permanent if they agree to fund his proposal for a border wall.
The president reiterated his position last month on Twitter:
The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL a… https://t.co/sjkgrE1kQe— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1514553371.0
According to The Hill, the Trump administration requested $18 billion for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as an additional $15 billion for border security.
What did Castro say?
Castro said on MSNBC that he wouldn’t approve a DACA solution that included funding for the wall.
“I will certainly vote against it, and I know most Democrats will vote against it,” Castro said on MSNBC. “I can only speak for the House of Representatives, of course. In the Senate, they have different rules and it’s a different matter. But I would suspect you will have the overwhelming majority of Democrats vote against it.”
Castro argued: “We don’t want to trade the lives of 800,000 people for a wall across the United States.”
He added that he is “still optimistic” Congress can reach a solution on the program.
The Hill noted that Congress has until mid-March to authorize the program or immigrants granted protection under DACA may be deported.
— Kasie DC (@KasieDC) January 8, 2018