US President Donald Trump says his proposed immigration deal to end a 30-day partial government shutdown would not lead to amnesty for "Dreamers," but appeared to signal support for amnesty as part of a broader immigration agreement.
In a morning Twitter storm, Trump also said he would not seek the removal of millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States, while bashing House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for turning down an offer he made on Saturday.
"No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3-year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else," Trump said on Twitter.
"Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!"
The Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, are protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program put in place under former President Barack Obama.
The Trump administration said in September 2017 it would rescind DACA but it remains in effect under court order.
In a Saturday speech from the White House, Trump offered three years of protections for Dreamers and for holders of temporary protected status (TPS), another class of immigrants from designated countries affected by armed conflict, natural disaster, or other strife.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell welcomed the plan as a "bold solution", and will seek Senate passage of the proposal this week. The legislation will include bills to fund government departments that have been closed during the shutdown, as well as some disaster aid and the president's immigration proposal.
Trump appeared to be responding to conservative critics who accused him of proposing amnesty and reneging on a campaign promise, which could alienate his right-wing base.
About one-quarter of the US government shut down on December 22 over Trump's demand for $US5.7 billion to fund a wall along the border with Mexico, which Democrats have refused to consider.
Some 800,000 federal workers have been ordered to stay home or work without pay during the shutdown.
The shutdown has caused widespread disruptions.
On Sunday, a day after Trump's DACA proposal, there appeared to be signs of movement, even as Democrats insisted the government should reopen before proceeding with talks over border security.
Australian Associated Press