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DACA is ‘probably dead,’ Trump says, blaming Democrats

Just a day after the federal government said it would resume accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, President Donald Trump on Sunday said “DACA is probably dead,” and blamed Democrats for its demise.

Last year, the Trump administration said it would revoke the program, which protects the children of undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S., but gave Congress six months to come up with legislation to save the program, which has widespread bipartisan support.

Last week, Trump rejected a bipartisan immigration plan that included protections for so-called “Dreamers.”

On Saturday, Trump said Democrats are “blowing” their chance for DACA legislation. “I don’t believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA. . . . they are blowing the one great opportunity they have. Too bad!”

Trump followed up his comments Sunday by saying that the U.S. immigration system should be merit-based “to help us become strong and great again.”

Last week, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to accept DACA renewal applications while lawsuits against the government are pending, and on Saturday the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency said it would comply with that order and resume taking renewal applications “until further notice.”

Without new legislation, DACA recipients will begin losing their protected status in March.

Meanwhile, controversy continued over a meeting over immigration policy last week between Trump and congressional leaders in which he reportedly asked “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” On Sunday, Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia denied Trump used that word, while Texas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said he “did not hear that word either.” Trump, too, has denied saying that, but Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who was at the meeting, maintains Trump did. “He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly,” Durbin said Friday.

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