Lit­tle chance of deal on border wall, “Dream­ers”

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By David Naka­mura

WASH­ING­TON» De­spite Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s threats to shut down the gov­ern­ment this month to win border-wall fund­ing, there ap­pears to be lit­tle ap­petite in Wash­ing­ton for a com­pro­mise deal that has been viewed as a po­ten­tial win for both po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Trump and Demo­cratic lead­ers are re­ject­ing talk of a grand bar­gain on im­mi­gra­tion that would pro­vide $25 bil­lion for the wall at the U.S.-Mex­ico border in ex­change for per­ma­nent le­gal sta­tus, and pos­si­ble cit­i­zen­ship, for up to 1.7 mil­lion young un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants known as “Dream­ers.”

That plan was re­port­edly on the ta­ble in Jan­uary be­fore the White House de­railed the talks by in­sist­ing on ad­di­tional con­ces­sions, in­clud­ing slash­ing le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and speed­ing up de­por­ta­tions.

Asked by re­porters Thurs­day whether House Democrats would be in­ter­ested in the orig­i­nal deal, pos­si­ble in­com­ing Speaker Nancy Pelosi bluntly replied: “No.” The wall money and the Dream­ers “are two dif­fer­ent sub­jects,” she said.

Pelosi isn’t the only one squelch­ing hopes for an im­mi­gra­tion break­through. Trump sig­naled re­cently that he is in no mood to deal. Rather, he is look­ing to the spring — when the Supreme Court could rule on his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s blocked at­tempts to un­wind an Obama-era work pro­gram for Dream­ers — to win greater lever­age in ne­go­ti­a­tions over their fu­ture.

“If the court rules prop­erly ... we’ll get ev­ery­thing solved,” Trump told Politico last month, sug­gest­ing Democrats would have more ur­gency to ac­cede to his de­mands.

The Dream­ers have made clear to Democrats that they should rec­og­nize they have the up­per hand at a time when the party is as­cen­dant. Given the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s hard­line en­force­ment ac­tions — sep­a­rat­ing im­mi­grant fam­i­lies and send­ing mil­i­tary troops to the border — ad­vo­cates are re­fus­ing to cede ground to the White House.

“We stand true to our po­si­tion that we should not be used as bar­gain­ing chips ... to give more money” to the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, said Greisa Mar­tinez, deputy ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at United We Dream, an ad­vo­cacy group for im­mi­grants who have lived in the coun­try il­le­gally since they were chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.