The US President was furious at the Democrats after they rejected his proposal to offer concessions on immigration law in exchange for funding of the wall.
Trump said he had made “compromises” in a bid to conclude the shutdown, only for the Democrat leadership to dismiss the proposal as “unacceptable” and a “non-starter”
The proposal would have seen around 700,000 ‘Dreamers’ (undocumented immigrants who entered the US with their parents) granted protection for another three years. Further, around 300,000 people who had fled natural disasters or conflict and are currently holding visas under Temporary Protection Status (TPS) would have also gained protection for three years.
Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 – 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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019
Pelosi rejects Trump’s concessions on DACA
In a statement, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi pre-emptively rejected the offer as completely inadequate.
“Democrats were hopeful that the president was finally willing to re-open government and proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border,” she said in a statement.
“Unfortunately…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. It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump had been responsible for removing the protections for Dreamers and TPS holders and that reintroducing some of these protections was “not a compromise but more hostage-taking”.
“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 – 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.”
In a later tweet, Trump reassured his supporters that “Amnesty is not a part of my offer” and that what he was offering was instead a temporary extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. “Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!,” the tweet continued.
President Trump used his Twitter account to attack Speaker Nancy Pelosi for turning down his offer to end the shutdown, even as Vice President Pence appeared to open the door to negotiations over the plan. https://t.co/5efdSSc8sx
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 20, 2019
Was Trump’s failed deal a first move towards compromise?
DACA had been implemented by Barack Obama and remains in place after an effort by the Trump administration to rescind it failed in the courts.
While Trump’s proposal to bring an end to the shutdown did not involve any new concessions, it did mark the first time the President had attempted to broker any kind of deal to end the standoff.
Vice-President Mike Pence struck a slightly more conciliatory tone and said he had met with a number of Democrat representatives in an attempt to reach a “balanced, good faith compromise”. He also said Trump would “of course” be prepared to negotiate further on the issue.
The Democrats have continued to insist that Trump needs to reopen the government before they will negotiate. After the 2018 mid-term elections, the Democrats have control of the House, meaning the federal budget cannot be passed without their approval.
The two parties continue to be poles apart, with the Democrats proposing US$1.3 billion in funding for border security, along with hundreds of millions to upgrade ports of entry and employ more immigration judges.
Around 800,000 federal employees are not receiving their salary and polling has shown an increasing number of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown.
Header image credit: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons