Pass the gravy, hold the wall.
The top House and Senate Democrats announced an immigration reform package that will protect Dreamers and provide border security on Wednesday after breaking bread with President Trump at the White House.
The agreement does not include funding for Trump’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
It does protect 800,000 immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
Their lives were upended when the Trump administration decided to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, which shielded them from deportation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Trump and several cabinet members for a dinner of Chinese food, continuing the Republican President’s sudden outreach to the other side of the aisle, which has horrified his GOP colleagues.
“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,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement after the meal.
The deal specifies bipartisan legislation called the DREAM Act that provides eventual citizenship for the young immigrants, a source told the Associated Press.
Trump and the two top Democrats were joined by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House chief of staff John Kelly and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, the top two Republicans in Congress, were noticeably absent.
Ryan told the Associated Press he was meeting with Pelosi before her dinner, and the two of them planned to discuss immigration reform.
For most of this year, Trump has made the Senate and House minority leaders some of his biggest targets in Congress.
He has called Schumer a “clown” and “Fake Tears Chuck” because the New York senator teared up at a protest of Trump’s travel ban. California Rep. Pelosi, meanwhile, was derided as a “loser” and a liar.
Donald Trump in the White House
But Trump stunned Congress last week when he struck an unexpected deal with the Democrats on debt ceiling and government spending legislation, shunning discussions he held with Republican leaders and his own staff.
He later fired off a tweet reassuring Dreamers — at Pelosi’s request.
After another bipartisan meeting at the White House earlier in the day, Trump told reporters, “More and more we’re trying to work things out together.”
He said he wanted to see “if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems.”
The fate of Trump’s beloved wall, which he has vowed Mexico will eventually fund, remains to be seen.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders countered the Dems’ claim that the barricade was off the table.
“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” she tweeted.