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Is Trump walking away from DACA negotiations?

Nicholas Kamm/Getty

Trump is hinting that he’s ready to do so because Democrats aren’t offering enough funding for a border wall and because Senator Dick Durbin went public with Trump’s racist “shithole countries” comments.

But it’s Trump, not Democrats, who is actually holding up a compromise to protect DREAMers from deportation. He rejected a bipartisan deal that would have provided increased border security (and some wall funding) last week, the elimination of the visa lottery, and limited family reunification.

Democrats and Republicans had hoped to reach a government funding deal—the deadline is Friday—that would also provide legal protections for DREAMers. Now the threat of a shutdown looms, and Republicans are reportedly trying to reach a short-term deal that would kick the can down the road. Congress has until March to reach a deal on DREAMers.

But Democrats, having already reached out to the president with a compromise bill, have little incentive to deal right now. They are being asked to offer more in exchange for something Trump has professed that he wants, protections for DREAMers. Furthermore, Republicans control both houses of Congress and the presidency, which means there is good reason to believe they will be blamed for a shutdown.

So is Trump really going to walk away from the negotiating table? Maybe. But given the fallout that awaits, it’s just as likely that he is bluffing.