Trump: DACA deal for wall
Democrats say plan to end shutdown is a ‘non-starter’
WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown impasse and fund his long-promised border wall, President Donald Trump on Saturday offered to extend temporary protections from deportation for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
But while Trump cast the move as a “common-sense compromise,” Democrats were quick to dismiss it as a “non-starter.”
Trump declared from the White House that “both sides in Washington must simply come together,” adding he was there “to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border.”
But Trump did not budge on his $5.7 billion demand for the wall and, in essence, offered to temporarily roll back some of his own hawkish immigration ac-
tions — actions that have been blocked by federal courts.
Democrats dismissed Trump’s proposal even before his formal remarks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the proposal was “a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable.”
The California Democrat said Trump’s offer was “not a goodfaith effort” to help immigrants and could not pass the House. She noted the protections for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and some refugees would be temporary.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Senate Democratic leader, echoed Pelosi, and both leaders reiterated the party’s insistence that the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., must fund and reopen the government before any negotiations on border security
It’s not clear whether the offer would be enough to break an impasse that has resulted in 800,000 federal workers being furloughed and numerous government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, to operate at minimal staffing levels. Many furloughed workers have been forced to rely on food banks or other jobs.
The 29-day partial shutdown is the longest in U.S. government history.
Seeking to cast the plan as a bipartisan way forward, Trump said Saturday he had support from “rank-and-file” Democrats.
But a senior House Democratic aide noted that Democrats were not consulted about the proposal. “This is not a compromise as it includes the same wasteful, ineffective $5.7 billion wall demand that shut down the government in the first place,” the aide said.
Democrats also frequently point out that Trump long claimed Mexico would pay for the wall.
Trump said McConnell would bring the legislation to a vote this week, though Democrats appeared likely to block it. McConnell had previously stated that no vote should be held in the Senate until Trump and Democrats agreed on a bill.
Trump’s remarks marked the second time he has addressed the nation as the partial shutdown drags on. On this occasion, he sought to strike a diplomatic tone, emphasizing trust and the need to work across the aisle. But he still maintained a border barrier was needed to block what he describes as the flow of drugs and crime into the country, though he described it as “steel barriers in high-priority locations.”
To ensure funding, Trump said he would extend protections for young people brought to the country illegally as children, known as “Dreamers,” as well as for those with temporary protected status, or TPS, after fleeing countries affected by natural disasters or violence.
But with current DACA beneficiaries protected by the courts into at least 2020, pending a Supreme Court review, the president’s proposal is even less enticing to immigrant advocates.
Administration officials said the protections would apply only to those currently in the Obamaera program shielding them from deportation, and the temporary protected status would apply to those who currently have it and have been in the country since 2011. People from El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti — countries that saw the status revoked under Trump — would get a reprieve.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s sonin-law and senior aide, has led the work on the proposals, said three people familiar with White House thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly. Some said Vice President Mike Pence, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also were involved.
Still, Trump could face blowback from conservatives, including prominent commentators, who have opposed any attempts to extend deportation protections from undocumented immigrants.
Trump was asked Saturday if the shutdown had become too personal between himself and Pelosi.
“It’s not personal for me,” Trump said Saturday morning. Pelosi is “being controlled by the radical left,” he said.
“This is not a compromise as it includes the same wasteful, ineffective $5.7 billion wall demand that shut down the government in the first place.” Senior House Democratic aide
President Donald Trump’s proposed plan to end the 29-day partial government shutdown was panned on Saturday.