Politics: Dreamers-for-wall trade going nowhere in House - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsDreamers-for-wall trade going nowhere in House

01:45  13 january  2019
01:45  13 january  2019 Source:   thehill.com

If they care about their country, Democrats need to make a counteroffer

If they care about their country, Democrats need to make a counteroffer Madame Speaker, we're waiting. Over the weekend, President Trump did what he should have done four weeks ago and issued a televised announcement to offer a concession for his wall. In exchange for $5.7 billion in border security funding — mind you, the whole wall will likely cost five times that — the president is prepared to issue three years of legal protections for DACA recipients and Temporary Protected Status holders. Democrats can gripe at the length of the extension or the fact that it's temporary.

The White House and congressional Democrats traded immigration offers futilely over the weekend, according to three sources familiar with the talks, leaving little chance of “The White House proposal gave them everything they asked for while leaving Dreamers in limbo,“ said a senior Democratic aide.

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Dreamers-for-wall trade going nowhere in House© Greg Nash Dreamers-for-wall trade going nowhere in House A deal to reopen the government by trading border wall funding for immigration benefits for so-called Dreamers doesn't stand a chance in the House, according to legislators on both sides of the aisle.

House Democrats say they don't trust President Trump to keep his end of any bargain, and are wary of negotiating a deal that could benefit those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while throwing other undocumented immigrants under the bus.

"Many of us, Democrats and Republicans, want to find a solution to this, and the White House has never been supportive of that," said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a moderate who worked out a Dreamers-for-wall deal with Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) last summer.

Trump to propose immigration compromise to end shutdown -source

Trump to propose immigration compromise to end shutdown -source President Donald Trump will propose a compromise on immigration in an afternoon speech on Saturday.

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WASHINGTON — The White House on Sunday delivered to Congress a long list of hard-line immigration measures that President Trump is demanding in exchange for any deal to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers

That bill would have granted a path to citizenship to Dreamers both within and outside DACA in exchange for technological and manpower investments in border security, but no wall construction.

The Hurd-Aguilar bill, which lacked the support of GOP leadership, never made it to the floor.

Aguilar ruled out even preliminary cross-aisle negotiations while the partial government shutdown is in effect.

"If Republicans want to have conversations, we're always happy to, and you know that I will continue to have conversations with Republicans about a long-term solution to this. But we can't negotiate while the government is shut down, period," he said.

Meanwhile, the GOP refuses to join in government spending talks without some amount of wall funding on the table.

Democrats shoot down Trump's proposal to end shutdown; Pelosi calls it 'unacceptable'

Democrats shoot down Trump's proposal to end shutdown; Pelosi calls it 'unacceptable' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump's proposal "unacceptable" and said it was a "non-starter' that wouldn't pass in Congress. She said the offer did not "represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives," especially since the president's proposal only offered temporary solutions for DREAMers, undocumented immigrants brought to the country before their 18th birthday. "It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter," Pelosi said. Sen.

The program had afforded protections for Dreamers — individuals brought into the country illegally as children. He called it an illegal administrative action, but But the White House on Sunday stopped short of offering the 800,000 recipients a chance to become full US citizens, rather just legal status.

"Funding for the wall is a priority for the administration. Whether it is part of DACA or there is a different pathway to get it done, it will remain a priority," he said, adding it The official said the White House would be pushing for "legal status" for the Dreamer population but would not be advocating citizenship.

"There is no Democrat that is willing to give any money for a border barrier initiative, any substantial other than a dollar, for a border barrier initiative, so why have the discussion?" asked Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a close ally of President Trump.

About a quarter of the federal government has been shut down since Dec. 22, as Trump has demanded $5.7 billion for construction of barriers along the border, and Democrats in Congress have refused to grant it.

GOP senators, most recently Rob Portman (Ohio) and Jerry Moran (Kan.), have proposed measures similar to the Hurd-Aguilar compromise in an effort to end the shutdown, which on Saturday became the longest in modern U.S. history.

But Democrats, fresh off a big electoral win in November, say their base won't accept such a deal now.

"Every time that we've been [down this road], people on the ground they get their hopes up and they think that maybe there's an answer there, but this time people are staying pretty firm," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), an immigrant rights activist and co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

DACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall

DACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Belen Sisa, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on Sunday said President Trump was using so-called "Dreamers" as "bargaining chips" in his attempt to build a wall along the southern border. "I don't know if the president is completely ignorant to history or if he has gone delusional to what happened a year ago when he ended the program himself," Sisa said on CNN just a day after Trump made a new proposal in an attempt to reopen the government.

Don't blame dreamers for the latest DACA deal. Blame Democrats who did nothing for them while in power, then traded their fate for the border wall . Don't blame dreamers for the latest DACA deal. Get the Opinions Newsletter newsletter delivered to your inbox. We're sorry, but something went wrong.

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"They do not trust this president, they do not think that there's a real deal to be had, number one, and number two, they know that if there was a deal, because of everything he's done and everything he's said, that it would include some really terrible things," she added.

And the shutdown itself has become a core dividing issue, beyond debate over the wall itself.

"At this point, the tactic they're using is so illegitimate we wouldn't use it for anything they're asking," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a freshman lawmaker and rising progressive star.

"Just the idea that they're holding people's paychecks hostage and throwing a tantrum, I don't care if they wanted an ice cream cone, we're not going to give it to them," she said.

Republicans, on the other hand, view Democratic leadership as hypocritical for refusing to grant Trump's border wall request, which they see as similar to past bipartisan border security bills.

"In the scope of things, we're not talking about a big chunk of money. We're talking about concepts that even the folks that are now saying it's a moral issue to not do, they've supported it in writing, and with votes, and with signing up to discharge petitions," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who's played a key role in previous immigration reform negotiations.

Democratic leaders face backlash if they compromise on wall

Democratic leaders face backlash if they compromise on wall Democratic activists are warning that Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) will face angry backlash from their liberal base if they compromise on border fencing without getting a significant concession from President Trump in return. 

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Centrist Republicans are frustrated that negotiations have broken down.

Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), who early on in last year's border-for-Dreamers negotiations supported a bipartisan deal, said the negotiators are blowing an opportunity.

"These parties that are involved, and it really seems like it boils down to the House and the Senate Democratic leadership and the president - this is an opportunity I think for Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer that they're just blowing," said Thompson.

"I think there's all kinds of opportunities here for things ... even just focused and related to immigration, that you could put together," he added.

Republicans have said they're unwilling to back a bill to reopen the government that doesn't have the support of Trump, who has indicated he'll veto anything without wall funding included.

"Can you find any Democrat in leadership that's willing to talk about any significant amount of money for a wall? Period. Whether DACA is included or not. When you find them, then we'll have a discussion about it," Meadows said.

And the White House has pulled away from the idea of trying to intertwine Dreamers and the wall.

Vice President Pence Thursday said the administration won't consider a DACA-for-wall deal, as administration officials believe the Obama-era program won't survive a challenge before the Supreme Court, though the constitutionality of DACA has so far not been successfully challenged in court.

Pence: 'No deal' with Dems without border wall funding, Trump 'evaluating' Afghanistan pullout

Pence: 'No deal' with Dems without border wall funding, Trump 'evaluating' Afghanistan pullout In an exclusive interview with Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday night affirmed that the White House will reject any Democratic spending bill without funding for a border wall. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The vice president added that President Trump "is in the process of evaluating" whether to remove troops from Afghanistan, and vowed that the military's withdrawal from Syria will be conducted in an "orderly fashion.

Trump campaigned for president in 2016 promising tougher rules for immigration. For immigration legislation to be enacted into law, the House of Representatives ultimately would Addressing the status of the Dreamers ’ parents, who brought them into America illegally, would be “tricky,” Trump said.

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Andrew Hanen, a South Texas judge who in 2015 ruled against a DACA expansion as well as a partner program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), had the opportunity to rule against DACA as a whole in August, but refused to do so.

Trump rescinded DACA in September 2017 and gave Congress six months to enact replacement legislation. Congress failed to come to an agreement, but Trump's order was swiftly challenged in the courts, and a 9th Circuit decision ultimately forced the Department of Homeland Security to continue issuing DACA benefits to new applicants.

Given DACA's success in court so far, some Democrats are flummoxed by the administration's bullish attitude toward a favorable judicial resolution.

"Maybe they realized that people weren't going to take a deal, and so to get involved in a big lengthy negotiation around some ephemeral deal that never actually turns out to be something that Democrats could accept," said Jayapal.

Some Republicans are dismayed that the administration would seek a court victory rather than a legislative agreement.

"I don't agree with that perspective, even though I'm a huge friend and fan of the vice president. I'm tired of the courts dictating public policy. It's the legislative branch, let's exercise our responsibilities on this," said Thompson.

Ocasio-Cortez said "the administration is grasping at straws."

"I don't know if it's because they're trying to cover for the fact that they can't even offer that - we're going to reject it. We're not going to exchange DACA for a wall. We're not going to save one part of a family to expend another part. We're not going to separate families. They know we're not going to separate families, they know we're not going to tolerate that deal and right now they're just grasping for an excuse to not offer it because they know we're going to reject it," she said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham to float new proposal to end shutdown in meeting with President Trump.
Graham wants President Donald Trump to end the government shutdown if Speaker Nancy Pelosi agrees to take up a bipartisan Senate measure.

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