Trump on DACA: 'These Are People Who Should Be Allowed to Stay in Our Country'

Susan Jones | January 26, 2018 | 7:13am EST
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President Trump dicusses DACA with CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. (Photo: Screen grab)

( - "Look, we're going to try to make a deal on DACA. We have a good chance of making it," President Donald Trump told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday morning.

I want to solve the DACA problem. I would consider that a great achievement to solve the DACA problem. It's been out there for a long time. These are good people. These are people who should be allowed to stay in our country. We're going to solve the DACA problem.

But we also want to solve the tremendous problem on the southern border, which is crime. We need a wall. We need the drugs to stop flowing in.

Trump used the word DACA, which applies to some 690,000 people given temporary legal status by executive order during the Obama administration.


But the Trump White House also has signaled that it is willing to expand the number of illegal aliens eligible for legal status beyond the DACA enrollees, to include even those dreamers who did not sign up for the DACA program.

“We've been willing to expand that population,” Marc Short, President Trump’s chief congressional negotiator, told NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd.

Trump on Friday told CNBC that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made a mistake in shutting down government last weekend over the DACA issue.

Asked if he would "move more to the center on immigration" to avoid another government shutdown in February, Trump said:

"I don’t think the Democrats would shut it down, because you look at every poll that says Schumer made a mistake. I don't want to say Schumer got badly beaten, why should I do that, I'm negotiating -- I'm not going to say he got badly beaten -- but you look what happened, the people want security and they want DACA taken care of, but more importantly, they want security, they want the border strong... they don't want to have MS-13 coming in to our cities..."
Trump said MS13 gang member are "horrible, horrible human beings" who came to the U.S. as "horrible human beings."

"They don't shoot somebody. They cut 'em up into little pieces because it's more painful. I don't want them,” Trump said. “We are taking them out by the thousands -- by the thousands...but we're going to take care of DACA. No one wants to take care of DACA more than myself and the Republican Party."

In exchange for legal status – and an eventual path to citizenship -- Trump wants $25 billion to build his wall, which he promised to do under budget: "We'll have a lot of money left over and we'll spend it on other things," he said.

He also wants an end to chain migration, where legal immigrants are then allowed to sponsor all their relatives; and he wants an end to the diversity visa lottery, replacing it with a merit-based system.

The White House announced on Thursday that it will unveil on Monday a “legislative framework” that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress can support on the issue of immigration reform.

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