President Donald Trump outlined a plan to end the government shutdown on Saturday, in an afternoon speech offering congressional Democrats three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients — including protection from deportation — and an extension of legal residence for people living in the country under ‘Temporary Protective Status’ status.
He also offered $800 million in urgent humanitarian assistance and 75 new immigration teams to reduce the court backlog of 900,000 cases, which he called an ‘impossible nightmare,’
Speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Trump said he wants $5.7 billion for the ‘strategic deployment of physical barriers, or a wall,’ that he will use to put ‘steel barriers in high priority locations’ along the U.S.-Mexico border.
‘I want this to end. It’s gotta end now,’ he said, ending a pained crescendo about drugs and related crime waves that flow northward from Mexico.
‘These are not talking points. These are the heartbreaking realities that are hurting innocent, precious human beings every single day on both sides of the border,’ the president said.
It’s unclear if rank-and-file Democrats will find the proposal enticing enough to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called it a ‘non-starter.’
In a briefing after Trump’s speech, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters that the president still has the authority to walk away from negotiating with Democrats and declare a national emergency on the border.
That would be a precursor to diverting funds from the Pentagon and other agencies to the Army Corps of Engineers, which would dole out contracts and continue the border wall without congressional approval.
President Trump outlined a plan to end the government shutdown in a Saturday afternoon address, offering three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients — including protection from deportation —and Temporary Protective Status awardees
The president included liberal priorities in his offer on Saturday, like protection for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and TPS protections, after meeting last week with moderate Democrats.
DACA refers to the Obama-era Deferred Actionfor Childhood Arrivals program, which offered a no-deportation guarantee to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants whose parents brought them into the U.S. as minors.
TPS is a Justice Department program that grants residency and work permits to people from 10 countries affected by natural disasters or brutal armed conflicts. They include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen.
The Trump administration moved last year to end TPS status for Salvadorans and Hondurans, ending two decades of protected status. Both groups would gain extensions under the proposal the White House offered Saturday.
Salvadorans comprise the largest group, more than 268,000. Hondurans were offered the programs benefits after Hurricane Mitch struck the Central American country in 1998. Protection for Haitians is scheduled to end later this year.
Trump said Saturday that he was offering his compromise to ‘break the logjam’ over illegal immigration and provide a ‘path forward to end a government shutdown.’
‘It is time to reclaim our future from the extreme voices,’ he said of liberals he’s been haranguing for months over their alleged support for open borders. ”The radical left can never control our borders,’ he later said.
In a slap at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he declared: ‘Walls are not immoral. In fact, they are the opposite of immoral.’
Trump said his compromise will provide the ‘best chance in a very long time at real bipartisan immigration reform’ in the U.S. Congress.
As it stands, America’s immigration system is a ‘source of shame,’ he claimed, ‘all over the world,’ and ‘not a symbol of unity’ but one of government dysfunction.
‘As a candidate for president, I promised I would fix this crisis, and I intend to keep that promise one way or the other. our immigration system should be the subject of pride, not a source of shame, as it is all over the world. Our immigration system should be the envy of the world, not a symbol of disunity and dysfunction.
He promoted the plan as a ‘common sense compromise’ to conundrum that’s been plaguing America for decades, even as he acknowledged t is ‘not intended to solve all of our immigration challenges.’
Trump hosted a Naturalization Ceremony for new citizens originally hailing from across the globe an hour before he doubled down on his request for border wall to keep migrants coming from Mexico out.
President Donald Trump pictured arriving back at the White House on Saturday before his government shutdown address where he will give Democrats his new offer
Vice President Mike Pence, the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney are leading the charge on Capitol Hill to get the deal passed.
Democrats were already panning the deal as dead on arrival even before Trump delivered his remarks.
‘First, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell must open the government today. Second, I cannot support the proposed offer as reported and do not believe it can pass the Senate,’ Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said. ‘Third, I am ready to sit down at any time after the government is opened and work to resolve all outstanding issues.’
Trump indicated earlier in the day that he would be making the case for his wall in the remarks.
‘We need the help and the backup of a wall,’ the president said earlier Saturday.
The president had been mulling a national security declaration but did not take the step that would invite a vigorous court challenge on Saturday afternoon. He instead revealed a new deal for Democrats in the national address that came a week after he walked out of a meeting with party leaders.
He hasn’t met with Pelosi of Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer since. He appealed to congressional Democrats this week that are a part of an ad hoc group that advised him that he’d be best served by reopening the government, and then continue negotiations.
‘I think it’ll be an important statement,’ Trump told reporters as he departed the White House to received the bodies of four Americans who were killed last week in an ISIS attack in Syria.
Earlier Saturday Trump urged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to accept his offer adding she’s ‘controlled by the radical left’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said prior to Trump’s speech that his expected proposal was ‘unacceptable’ and compromised of previously rejected solutions.
‘Democrats were hopeful that the President was finally willing to re-open government and proceed with a much-need discussion to protect the border,’ she said.
‘Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is 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.’
She noted that it doesn’t include a ‘permanent solution’ for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children or for Temporary Protective Status designees.
His offer may support the Bridge Act which will help 740,000 DACA recipients – people who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Pro DACA and Dreamer supports pictured protesting outside the U.S. capital
The proposal may extend deportation reprieves for Dreamers in exchange for his controversial $5.7billion U.S.-Mexico border wall
DACA protesters pictured above protesting on January 15
Democrats have asked for $563 million to to hire 75 more immigration judges and $524 million to put toward ports of entry.
They have agreed to more money for border security personnel and drones and sensors but not the border wall that is at the center of the dispute with the president.