Trump says 'Dreamer' programme dead amid fury over 'shithole' slur
President Donald Trump has said that a programme that protects immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children is "probably dead".
At issue is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which was created by President Barack Obama to shield hundreds of thousands of these individuals, known as 'Dreamers', from deportation.
Mr Trump, who has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, said last year he would end the programme unless Congress came up with a solution by March.
Republicans and Democrats were already at odds over funding the government and the negotiations became more complicated after Democrats - whose votes are needed to pass a government funding bill - insisted that immigration be included.
Further roiling the talks are comments by Trump during an Oval Office meeting in which he questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the US, along with Africans from "shithole" countries, according to people briefed on the conversation.
He also said he would prefer immigrants from countries like Norway instead.
The White House has not denied that Trump said the word "shithole" and Republicans have had to answer questions about whether Mr Trump is racist.
Mia Love, the first black female Republican in Congress and the daughter of Haitian immigrant parents, denounced Trump's comments as racist and called on him to apologise.
"I think that would show real leadership," she said.
However, Senator David Perdue, who was at Thursday's Oval Office meeting, insisted yesterday that Mr Trump did not say "shithole" in referring to African countries.
"I am telling you that he did not use that word. And I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation," he said.