Democrats reject, supporters criticize Trump amnesty deal to build wall
|National Post 20 Jan 2019 at 15:23|
Donald Trump lashed out at the Democratic leadership yesterday (Sunday) for rejecting his proposal to end the month-long government shutdown â and faced criticism from his own supporters, who accused him of offering an amnesty to illegal immigrants.
The U.S. leader fired off a series of tweets in which he shifted blame for the impasse to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, as it became clear that his latest bid to secure funding for a border structure had fallen flat.
On Saturday afternoon he made a televised address to the nation in which he offered to extend temporary protection against deportation to 700,000 âDreamersâ â young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children â in return for $5.7 billion to build the wall. But even before the cameras rolled Speaker Pelosi called the deal a ânon-starterâ.
Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the spectrum, Ann Coulter, a right-wing commentator, also took aim, accusing Trump of providing an amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The president tweeted: âNancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They donât see crime and drugs, they only see 2020 â which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the country and allow people to go back to work.
Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They donât see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 â which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work.
No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!
âNo, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a three-year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise, there will be no big push to remove the 11 million plus people who are here -illegally â but be careful Nancy!â
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has been warned that the presidentâs proposed legislation will likely be dead on arrival if he introduces it to the floor of Congress this week.
Speaking of the presidentâs olive branch, Pelosi said: âUnfortunately, his (Trumpâs) proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiativesâŚ it is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together they are a non-starter.â
According to the New York Times, an internal struggle played out in the West Wing in recent days between Jared Kushner, the presidentâs son-in-law, and Stephen Miller, the immigration hardliner who has Trumpâs ear.
Kushner is said to have pushed for protection for all 1.8 million undocumented immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme introduced by Barack Obama to protect the Dreamers. Millerâs intervention limited it to the 700,000 already enrolled.
While the presidentâs bill has the support of House Republicans, right-wing commentators outside of government were losing patience.
Coulter, who has previously derided Trump for his lack of -progress on the border wall, taunted him again on Saturday. She tweeted: â100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals.
âSo if we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can -finally get a full border wall.â
Adding tension to the dispute, more than 1,000 people, mainly from Honduras, this weekend crossed into Mexico in another migrant caravan heading to the U.S.âs southern border.
Some said they were hoping to take advantage of an offer of work visas from Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the newly elected Mexican President, while others will continue north.
Meanwhile, footage emerged on Saturday of a group of white teenagers shouting âbuild that wallâ in the face of an American Indian drummer at the Indigenous Peopleâs March in Washington.
The shutdown, now in its 31st day, is the longest in U.S. history, with more than 800,000 federal employees on unpaid leave or working without pay.
On Sunday Trumpâs attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told CNN it was possible the president spoke to Michael Cohen before his former lawyer lied to Congress over when the proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow was dropped.
Cohen originally told lawmakers that plans were ditched before the 2016 primaries, but plead guilty to making false statements on the subject last year âto be loyalâ to Mr Trump.
Giuliani denied that Trump would have directed his former lawyer to mislead Congress and said that pre-testimony discussions would have been âperfectly normalâ.
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