OMB director: Trump's position on Dreamers 'depends on what we get in exchange'

Comments follow government shutdown

By MAEGAN VAZQUEZ, CNN
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mick Mulvaney

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Donald Trump's budget director said Tuesday that the fate of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children "depends on what we get in exchange" in dealing with Democrats in Congress.

"What do we get for border security? What do we get for the wall?" Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told CNN's "New Day."

The comments come following a government shutdown over congressional disagreements on immigration policy, including how to deal with those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Mulvaney told "New Day" that the Trump administration wants a large immigration agreement, adding that the issue with so-called Dreamers and border security are "inextricably linked."

"If we simply gave amnesty, or whatever you want to call it, to the folks who are here, but you don't solve border security, then you're simply delaying a DACA problem 10 or 15 years from now. You have to deal with this holistically," Mulvaney said, adding that it "means figuring out under what terms and conditions people can stay here."

Trump has also suggested that an immigration deal would have to focus on more than just a permanent legislative solution for DACA, focusing on the need to include security.

"Nobody knows for sure that the Republicans & Democrats will be able to reach a deal on DACA by February 8, but everyone will be trying....with a big additional focus put on Military Strength and Border Security," he tweeted Tuesday morning. "The Dems have just learned that a Shutdown is not the answer!"

The government shutdown coincided with the one-year anniversary of Trump's inauguration. Mulvaney said he believes the shutdown, which began late Friday night, could have ended before Monday, adding that "there was a political motivation to deprive the President the opportunity over his anniversary weekend."

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