Pelosi: Trump Can't Repeal DACA Then Use It for Border Wall Deal

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi news conference

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today that she's not considering President Trump's offer to extend protection to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiaries because he shouldn't have ended the program for certain illegal immigrants brought to the country as children in the first place.

And despite his offer earlier in the month, Trump said this week, “I could see myself doing something for DACA but I want to find out what the Supreme Court is going to do first."

At her weekly news conference, Pelosi said Trump needed to address the plight of all the DREAMers, not just those registered under DACA "because that's a narrower universe."

"The DREAMers are twice the number of the DACA recipients. But in his comments, he said he wanted to protect the DACA," she said. "What he did was he took away the protections DACA had, he took away the protection TPS had, temporary protected status people in our country had, and took away an initiative of President Obama to facilitate amnesty questions in the country of origin. He took those away and then he said 'I'm going to give these back to you temporarily if you give me a wall.'"

"Well, you shouldn't have taken them away in the first place. These protections were there until you decided to take them away, and so now you're going to come back and say I'll give them back to you for three years. That is not a protection. Protection is something that has certainty to it," she added. "So it was really disappointing. Having said that about what the president did. ... 'I'll take them away, I'll give them to you temporarily; you give me a wall permanently.' A non-starter."

A bipartisan, bicameral conference committee met Wednesday to try to hash out a border deal, but didn't arrive at an agreement.

"On February 15th, the committee will come back, and if they don’t have a wall, I don’t even want to waste my time reading what they have because it's a waste of time.  Because the only thing that works for security and safety for our country is a wall," Trump told reporters today, saying he would declare a national emergency to bypass Congress.

Pelosi said the details are "up to the conferees to negotiate but the point is what is the best way to protect our border and you've heard some of the ideas that are there."

"We recognize, as I said, 70-90 percent of what we're concerned about, whether it's drugs or whatever comes through the ports of entry, let's make them stronger with roads that go with it so that we can facilitate commerce and tourism and immigration and, first and foremost, security," she said.