Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Trump proposes deal on immigration, Pelosi calls shutdown offer a "non-starter"

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Pablo Mccormick | 21 January, 2019, 12:22

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats are losing one big voice in their opposition to President Donald Trump's push for a border wall: The Washington Post's editorial board.

The shutdown, that has now entered its 29th day, was triggered on 22 December, 2018 by a lack of consensus between Democratic lawmakers and the USA president on the $5.7 billion funding for the wall on the border with Mexico, which was one of Trump's electoral promises.

President Trump on Saturday put a concrete compromise on the table to end the government shutdown.

But Trump sweetened the deal on Sunday, announcing on Twitter that he planned to continue pressing forward on immigration even after a deal was reached to re-open the Federal government, and suggesting to Democrats that he could be willing to consider a "blanket amnesty" provision, legalizing thousands of illegal immigrants, as part of a much larger, landmark deal on immigration.

In his response, Trump chastised Pelosi, saying she has lost her authority over the Democrats, as the shutdown reached its 30th day-the longest in US history.

Trump also proposed a three-year extension to the temporary protected status the USA offers to immigrants fleeing countries affected by natural disasters or violence.

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"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", Pelosi said.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said it was President Trump who took away protections for young undocumented immigrants in the first place, so "offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking". "It's three-year relief for TPS and DACA", Pence said. Mulvaney added that the onus is now on Democrats to accept the president's plan.

"Her time's up", Mendoza said. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well.

In another move likely to further frustrate conservative groups and lawmakers, the president signaled Sunday that he would not insist that any future potential immigration reform measure include funds or a plan to find and deport most of those in the country illegally.

Former staunch Trump supporter Ann Coulter, who has increasingly criticized the president over his failure to fulfill his signature campaign promise to build a border wall, slammed his latest proposal. But Trump did not budge on his $5.7 billion demand for the wall and, in essence, offered to temporarily roll-back some of his own hawkish immigration actions - actions that have been blocked by federal courts. Clyburn confirmed during the interview that there would be no negotiations until the president reopens the government.

Trump is asking for far less money in exchange for a Dem win on another immigration front.

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That's according to three people familiar with the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss them by name.

Seeking to cast the plan as a bipartisan way forward, Trump said Saturday he was incorporating ideas from "rank-and-file" Democrats, as top Democrats made clear they had not been consulted.

Trump's remarks from the Diplomatic Room marked the second time he has addressed the nation as the partial shutdown drags on. It also would extend protections for those with Temporary Protected Status, a program that allows people from certain countries affected by natural disasters or violence to remain in the U.S.

At issue is Trump's offer to extend temporary protections for young people brought to the USA illegally and for those who fled disaster zones.

At this point, however, Lankford said Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., don't trust each other on a way to end the shutdown.

Saturday marks the 29th day of the longest government shutdown in history.

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