Trump Offers Limited Protections For Migrants In Exchange For Billions For His Border Wall, Democrats Reject Offer
On Saturday afternoon, President Donald Trump sought to end the government shutdown by offering Democrats temporary relief for some undocumented migrants in exchange for the $5 billion he has been demanding for his border wall. Democrats immediately rejected the offer, however, offering little hope that the shutdown would end anytime soon.
“Democrats were hopeful that @realDonaldTrump was finally willing to re-open government & proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border. Unfortunately, reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of previously rejected initiatives,” tweeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Democrats were hopeful that @realDonaldTrump was finally willing to re-open government & proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border. Unfortunately, reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of previously rejected initiatives. https://t.co/MFwebWSevG pic.twitter.com/yMTm4iP27h
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 19, 2019
House Democrats have already added more than $1 billion for boarder related security to a series of funding bills in an effort re-open the government.
The funds, which were included in a package of six spending bills that both House Democrats and Republicans agreed upon last year, would cover funding for all portions of the Federal Government currently affected by the shutdown, excluding the Department of Homeland Security. That bill, not included in the original package of six, would add an additional $1.3 billion for boarder protection measures, specifically, more personnel and scanning technology for the detection of illicit drugs at exiting ports of entry.
The money included in the House spending package would not go to the president’s wall, rather it would be divided, with approximately $524 million for additional infrastructure at existing ports of entry and, another $563 million to fund a series of 75 immigration judges who would adjudicate migrants claims who seek asylum in the U.S.
Over the past two-weeks, both House Democrats and Republicans have passed an array of spending bills to re-open the government yet despite even several Republican-drafted measures the Senate, specifically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to hear them countering by stating that he will not call a vote on anything the president wont sign.
The president has so far largely framed the shutdown around Democrats not being tough on boarder security, leaving Democrats between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, Democrats are attempting to appeal to their base, who recently turned out strongly during the midterm election. Yet on the other they risk looking weak on boarder security by not bringing anything to the table at all.
Polls are now showing that people are beginning to understand the Humanitarian Crisis and Crime at the Border. Numbers are going up fast, over 50%. Democrats will soon be known as the Party of Crime. Ridiculous that they don’t want Border Security!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2019
“People want to make sure it’s clear that the Democrats do stand for boarder security, and not allow the president to determine how we talk about it,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). “We can’t cave to his vision for a wall, because of everything that it represents, but we also want to show that we’re for something,” she said.
All this comes after nearly a week of back-and-forth attacks between the president and Speaker Nancy Pelosi that culminated Friday after Trump postponed her trip abroad to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
“You never give advance notice of going into a battle area — you just never do,” said Speaker Pelosi to reporters at the Capital, adding that the president may not have understood because of his inexperience.
“The people around him, though, should have known that,” she added saying, “that’s very dangerous.”