Trump warns of 'last chance' to pass immigration deal

President Donald Trump speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, during a meeting with state and local officials about infrastructure. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump warned Democrats Tuesday that it's now or never when it comes to extending protections for young immigrants living in the country illegally.

Trump in an early-morning tweet said Democrats and Republicans must act now to provide legal protections to young "Dreamer" immigrants even as legislation faces an uncertain prospect in Congress.

"Wouldn't it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle," he wrote, adding: "This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th."

Trump was referring to a deadline he announced last year to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. But a recent court ruling has rendered that deadline all but meaningless.

The Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders say it's going to be tough to broker a successful deal on immigration policy.

Trump has proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants in exchange for $25 billion for a border wall with Mexico and other security measures, as well as curbs on legal immigration. Many Democrats consider some of the proposals, including limiting the relatives that legal immigrants can bring to the U.S., to be non-starters.

Trump will be meeting later Tuesday with the National Sheriffs' Association — a meeting where he is likely to continue his immigration pitch.

Trump also tweeted on his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, writing that "after many years we have taken care of our Military, now we have to fix our roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and more. Bipartisan, make deal Dems?"

Still, Trump has sent mixed messages on his commitment to the proposal, telling state and local officials at a White House meeting Monday that "if you don't want it, that's OK with me too."

The administration's plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage more than $1 trillion in local and state tax dollars to fix America's infrastructure, such as roads, highways, ports and airports.

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