Trump offers temporary protection for immigrants in return for wall funding

Elias Hubbard
January 20, 2019

President Donald Trump on Saturday proposed to extend protections for individuals enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a U.S. -Mexico border wall.

But Trump's proposal to end the 29-day partial shutdown of the USA government, which was sparked by a dispute over funding for the wall, appeared dead on arrival, with the top Democrat in Congress rejecting the proposal based on reports of its contents prior to the speech. But Trump was not expected to sign the national emergency declaration he's been threatening as an option to circumvent Congress, according to two people familiar with the planning.

"It was the President who single-handedly took away DACA and TPS protections in the first place - offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement released on Twitter.

The senior Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, struck a similar tone: "I cannot support the proposed offer as reported, and do not believe it can pass the Senate", he said.

Democrats also want Mr Trump to reopen government before talks can start. "I am ready to sit down at any time after the government is opened". But it was not clear such an offer would budge Democrats, who have previously rejected such a deal.

But Trump opposes the bills and McConnell has refused to let any of them come to a vote in the Senate, which is still controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on border security and the partial shutdown of the U.S. government from the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2019.

Mr Trump insists the wall is needed to end a security crisis on the southern border, while the Democrats call it a waste of taxpayers' money. Such a step would likely prompt a swift legal challenge over constitutional powers from Democrats.

With no end in sight for the shutdown, cultural institutions from MA to OR are moving to help unpaid federal workers spend some of their otherwise idle hours with loved ones enjoying art, science history OR music. A national emergency, if declared, would reallocate funds from the Department of Defense to the construction of the proposed steel barrier.

Prior to the address and responding to reports on Trump's decision to offer temporary relief to undocumented migrants residing in the United States in exchange for wall funding, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the move to reopen the government was a "non-starter".

First and foremost, Trump has shown himself to be a completely unreliable negotiator, continually shifting positions and moving the goal posts; Democrats should ask to hear more before jumping at any offer.

In addition, Trump's proposal includes 2,700 additional border agents and other law enforcement personnel and 75 immigration judge teams.

He warned again on Saturday about "caravans" moving northward toward the U.S., saying, "This country can not be secure" without a wall.

In September 2017, Trump rescinded DACA, but federal judges in NY and California put his action on hold.

Administration officials said the protections would apply only to those now in the Obama-era program shielding them from deportation, and the temporary protected status would apply to those who now have it and have been in the US since 2011.

Even the SC senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump friend and ally, criticized the president, saying: "One sophomoric response does not deserve another".

Another provision of Trump's Saturday immigration deal would include a three-year extension of temporary protected status (TPS) for 300,000 immigrants from designated countries (mostly in Central America and Africa) affected by armed conflict or natural disaster.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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