Despite noncommittal to DACA replacement, Trump open to potential legal status

No deal … yet.

That was the tone of a Thursday afternoon discussion with President Donald Trump’s media office following contradicting statements made the previous night by his administration and Democratic leadership.

In question during Wednesday night’s exchange was exploring a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals federal program, to which Trump remains uncommitted but open to negotiating.

Speaking solely on background, it was during Thursday’s discussion that White House officials told The Monitor that the potential exists for permitting legal permanent status for DACA recipients, albeit with the caveat that it would not be a path to citizenship.

“The president today was very clear, that he is not going to be supportive of amnesty, and that citizenship is not being considered for Dreamers,” a White House official said. “… At this time, what is being considered is an opportunity for DACA recipients to be able to stay legally in the U.S.”

These talks come more than a week after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that DACA would be phased out by March and just four days since nine recipients of the program designed to protect them from deportation were detained at a Falfurrias checkpoint for several hours.

“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,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said in a joint statement Wednesday night.