US president Donald Trump on Saturday sought to break the stalemate that has shut down the federal government partially for 30 days now with a proposals that was rejected by Democrats as a “non-starter” even before he had spelt it out in a speech he had teased the day before as a “major announcement” coming.
The president proposed a three-year reprieve from deportation for 700,000 people brought to the US as children, protected thus far by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and those with Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for $5.7 billion for a wall/barrier along the southern border. He also proposed funding for hiring more officers and immigration judges and for legal ports of entry.
“This is a common-sense compromise both parties should embrace,” Trump said, and aded that it should break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward.
Republicans have embraced it, and the party’s senate leadership has said it will put the proposal to vote.
But Democrats, who had not been involved in the negotiations and discussion that went into the making of the proposal, rejected it even before the president’s address. Calling his proposal a “non-starter”, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, “initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable”.
The key problem, she pointed out, was the lack of a permanent solution to the situation of “Dreamers” – as DACA recipients are also called – and those with TPS.
Democrats plan to put to vote a set of bills of their own in the House of Representatives next week to fund the shuttered government’s departments and end the shutdown.
They plan to put an additional $1 billion funding for border security – in addition to the $1.3 billion already made – but not for a wall or a barrier, which Pelosi has called “immoral”.
To Trump’s grief, even some conservatives, including Ann Coulter, an influential commentator, have dismissed his plan calling it, derisively as “amnestying” illegal immigrants, the DACA and TPS recipients, mischaracterizing the three-year reprieve as path to citizenship. And their voices matter.
Trump pays attention to what they say. He pulled out of an earlier deal after agreeing to it due to pushback from these commentators who are holding him to his campaign promise of building a wall to stop illegal immigrants at the southern border, which had became a rallying cry for his supporters.