Trump offers temporary ‘Dreamers’ deal for border wall

Lloyd Doyle
January 20, 2019

Trump's proposal comes as House Democrats are pushing forward with legislation to beef up security at the borders - without funding for the wall - a move bound to intensify the standoff over a partial government shutdown heading into its fifth week.

The shutdown, that has now entered its 29th day, was triggered on 22 December, 2018 by a lack of consensus between Democratic lawmakers and the U.S. president on the $5.7 billion funding for the wall on the border with Mexico, which was one of Trump's electoral promises.

Trump is also offering to extend protections for immigrants who came to the a result of war or natural disasters in their home countries.

In his address from the White House, which began just after 4pm ET, Trump said the almost $6 billion would allow for "steel barriers" in "high priority areas", and asserted that "walls are the opposite of immoral". He claimed a "see-through steel barrier" would "quickly and greatly" crime, adding, "some say it could be cut in half".

The President notably did not mention the plight of federal workers going without paychecks, some of whom fear they may not be able to make mortgage, rent or auto payments, or are relying on food banks. But while Trump cast the Saturday move as a "common-sense compromise", Democrats were quick to dismiss it at a "non-starter".

Even before Trump started speaking, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leaders were calling the proposal "a non-starter" that was full of "previously rejected initiatives".

Trump is seeking $5.7 billion for border-wall funding.

The question now is, what will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy do?

"Everyone has made their point - now it's time to make a law", McConnell wrote in a statement. He said previous presidents had not made real progress on immigration, which had led to "tragic consequences". The situation for furloughed employees isn't getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn't improved by show votes.

In his address to the nation, President Trump once again offered an olive branch to the Democrats.

Trump is expected to say he'd accept temporarily protecting from deportation hundreds of thousands of young "Dreamer" immigrants who arrived in the US illegally as children. But, the decision was challenged in court and is now held up in legal proceedings. The president's offer, which is based on the bipartisan BRIDGE Act introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin who serves as the number two Democrat in the Senate would provide legal status to DACA recipients for three years.

Immigrant youth at OneAmerica's Youth Summit reacted strongly against being used as bargaining chips for an unpopular, expensive, ineffective and racist border wall.

After decades of meaningless rhetoric, Donald Trump entered the political arena and effectively championed the issue of border security and a wall to win the presidency and shock the so-called experts.

Trump wants to trade temporary protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants for money to build his wall. He has refused to sign any spending bill without the funding. "He's holding more people hostage for his wall", a Democratic aide said in a statement.

The Capitol is seen on a rainy morning in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, during a partial government shutdown.

But 29 days into the longest government shutdown in history, Dems rejected Trump's plan before he even uttered it. The California Democrat said Trump's expected offer was "not a good-faith effort" to help the immigrants and could not pass the House. Lawmakers could also discuss the paths to certain status or citizenship for young Dreamers and how to compassionately deal with true asylum seekers. "It is imperative Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrat majority come to the negotiating table, consider the President's proposal, and actually have a conversation".

The president's offer was unlikely to gain the votes needed to pass the House of Representatives or Senate, she said in a statement. McConnell has not brought them to the floor of the Senate, deferring instead to the need for negotiations between Trump and Democrats.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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