President Trump, in a televised White House address Saturday, offered Democrats a compromise package on immigration in an effort to end the nearly monthlong partial government shutdown — although some prominent Democrats were dismissing the olive branch as a “non-starter” before Trump even spoke.
Trump announced that he was prepared to back a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children and were shielded from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This, in exchange for the $5.7 billion he has requested for a barrier on the southern border with Mexico.
“Walls are not immoral,” he said, adding that a wall “will save many lives and stop drugs from pouring into our country.”
“This is not a concrete structure from sea to sea,” he said, addressing some previously expressed concerns about the so-called “wall.” “These are steel barriers in high-priority locations.”
The offered deal would also extend protections for 300,000 recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program — which protects immigrants from designated countries with conditions that prevent nationals from returning safely.
“Our immigration system should be a source of pride, not a source of shame as it is all over the world,” Trump said, before urging politicians to “take off their armor” and find solutions.
But Trump’s proposal was quickly swatted down by Democrats. Indeed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came out ahead of the announcement to say the anticipated proposal comprised a “compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good-faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives.”
“It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter,” she said in a statement. “For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.” – READ MORE