Budget talks 'a mess' as lawmakers struggle to reach DACA deal

A rally in support of DACA outside of Trump Tower.
(Image credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump meets Tuesday with Republicans and Democrats to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which increasingly appears to be the make-or-break piece of this month's must-pass spending deal, CNN reports.

Republicans say Democrats won't budge on a budget unless the 800,000 "DREAMers" brought to the United States illegally as children are protected from deportation. "Why won't Democratic leadership negotiate with us?" Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Monday, as reported by Politico. "Because we refuse to simply pass the DREAM Act, as is, with no proportional border security and interior enforcement measures."

Democrats, on the other hand, accuse Republicans of using DREAMers as a bargaining chip to advance their agenda to build a border wall and curb immigration. Insiders are pessimistic about the possibilities of reaching a long-term budget deal, and a government shutdown looms just 10 days away. "It's a mess," said one person involved in the negotiations.

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