Democratic leaders said they'd reached a deal that excluded Trump's controversial border wall
Donald Trump has said 'no deal' was made with Democrats on the so-called 'Dreamers' immigration scheme - appearing to contradict the account of his political rivals.
Democratic leaders yesterday suggested they had reached a deal that would see the swift introduction of permanent legislation protecting young immigrants in return for enhanced border security.
However, they added that the deal would not include support for President Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico.
The 'Dreamers' scheme - officially called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - was introduced by the Obama administration in 2012.
It protects around 800,000 people who entered the US illegally as children from deportation for a renewable two-year period, while allowing them to work.
The Trump administration earlier this month announced its plans to wind down the scheme - a move that prompted widespread criticism, including from Donald Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.
The current scheme will not be wound down completely until early next year, meaning those affected will not be immediately impacted by the decision to end the programme.
President Trump has insisted that Congress should now 'get to work' on legislation to give 'Dreamers' permanent legal protection before DACA expires.
Democratic leaders met with President Trump and members of his administration for dinner yesterday.
After the meeting, party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi hailed a 'very productive' meeting.
In a joint statement quoted by the New York Times, they said: “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."
The account was swiftly contested by The White House, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying no agreement was reached on excluding the wall:
While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 14, 2017
In a series of tweets this morning, President Trump also said no deal was reached on DACA.
He observed: "Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote."
He also claimed that current renovation work along the border constitutes construction of his controversial wall:
The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017
It comes a week after President Trump stunned Republicans in Washington DC by reaching a deal with Democrats on raising the country's 'debt ceiling' and an aid package for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The unexpected arrangement meant a government shutdown was at least temporarily averted.