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Trump says amnesty not part of negotiations for border wall along Mexico


Talks on amnesty would be part of 'bigger deal,' he says

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Sunday cleared the air about whether amnesty for undocumented migrants is part of his negotiations on the border wall.

"No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer," Trump wrote on Twitter. "It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else."

What prompted his comment?

Trump made the comment in response to criticism over a proposal he announced Saturday afternoon, which Democrats rejected. The president's tweet also suggested he would not insist on finding and deporting migrants who are in the country illegally.

"Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!" Trump wrote in a message aimed at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.).

In exchange for his proposed $5.7 billion border wall, Trump on Saturday offered three-year extensions of two immigration programs supported by Democrats.

Roll Call reported that Vice President Mike Pence reached out to media on Saturday, saying: "There is no amnesty in the president's proposal. There is no pathway to citizenship in this proposal. It's three-year relief for TPS and DACA. We're going to work hard and reach across the aisle."

Trump's 2016 campaign included a promise to build a wall along the Mexico border and deport millions of illegal immigrants.

What was the reaction?

Some conservatives let Trump know Saturday on Twitter that they were not pleased with his possible embrace of amnesty. Some suggested that Trump's amnesty comment could "draw a 2020 primary challenger from the GOP's far right — then making Trump vulnerable to a more moderate Republican challenger," Roll Call reported.

The debate over the border wall has left hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed as the president's budget stalemate with Democrats continues. The partial shutdown is now in its fifth week.

Later on Sunday morning, Trump touted his progress on building the wall, even without the necessary funding.

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