Top Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say they have agreed to reach a deal with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of young undocumented migrants from deportation.
They said they also agreed to work on a border security package that would exclude President Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico.
However, the White House denied the wall had been excluded from proposals.
President Trump scrapped the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program earlier this month.
The Obama-era DACA scheme was put in place to protect so-called “Dreamers” – migrants brought to the US illegally as children – from deportation.
The DACA program, which protect some 800,000 people in the US, also provide temporary permits for work and study.
On September 4, PresidentTrump announced he would cancel the scheme, while giving Congress six months to enact a replacement plan for DACA recipients.
Following talks over dinner at the White House, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “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.”
Democrats have repeatedly said that they will block any legislation that contains funding for the border wall – a key campaign pledge of President Trump’s.
A White House statement was more muted, simply saying that there had been a “constructive working dinner” where tax reform, border security and DACA had been discussed.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later disputed the Democrats’ account.
She tweeted: “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
Chuck Schumer’s aide replied: “The President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement.”
Republican support would be needed in any immigration legislation, as they have a majority in both the House and the Senate.