President Trump set up a clever trap for Democrats regarding immigration reform and said he offered a “wonderful deal” to protect illegal immigrant DREAMers but the Democrats just proved that they are more interested in disagreeing with Republicans than trying to make effective policies, reports The Washington Times.
During last week’s government shutdown debacle, Trump proposed a new plan of legalizing 1.8 million DREAMers which was about three times more than the number of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that were what Democrats were originally fighting for, and still, they rejected Trump’s offer.
The president is prepared to deliver his plan to Capitol Hill this week and plans to make his plan public during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
Trump took to Twitter late Saturday to say that part of the reason he offered amnesty for so many more DREAMers or DACA recipients because he wanted the Democrats to feel the pressure.
“I have offered DACA a wonderful deal, including a doubling in the number of recipients & a twelve-year pathway to citizenship, for two reasons: (1) Because the Republicans want to fix a long time terrible problem. (2) To show that Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it!” Trump said. “Democrats are not interested in Border Safety & Security or in the funding and rebuilding of our Military. They are only interested in Obstruction!”
Trump’s plan would couple the amnesty for Dreamers with a $25 billion request for wall funding, limiting family sponsorship of migration to spouses and minor children, eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery that gives away immigration passes based on chance, and a number of policy changes to stop abuse of the asylum system and speed deportations of illegal immigrants.
Republicans said that plan could be the basis of talks but they are eager to entice Democrats to deal.
“I think whatever we do is not going to pass with one party or the other,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “If you want to solve this and not be at this in another five or 10 years, you want to do it correctly and I think that bill has a lot of merit to solving the problem.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who was originally the leader of the immigration talks and proposed a plan this month that would protect 3 million illegal immigrants said that Trump’s proposal for 1.8 million DREAMers is a “credible offer.”
But he said the president was asking for too much on the chain migration side.
“We’re going to get there. We’re going to give a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers who have been well-vetted. We’re going to do something substantial on the border. We’re not going to cut legal immigration in half,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “We’ll deal with chain migration in two phases, beginning in phase one.”
Graham hasn’t turned into a complete Democrat yet though when he warned that Dems needs to “calm down” after several days of over-the-top vitriol that included accusations of racism and xenophobia aimed at the president.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said the proposal is part of Trump’s plan to “make America white again,” and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Trump was using the Dreamers as a tool to fulfill a wish list for immigration hard-liners.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) said Trump was too ambitious and that the better solution is a narrow bill that protects Dreamers but doesn’t do nearly as much on immigration policy or border security.
They have offered a bill that would couple an amnesty with calls for more studies of border security and a promise for action three years from now.
“This is the only bill that would have 218 votes on the House floor. We feel very confident about that,” Mr. Hurd said on CBS.
A lot of lawmakers are just plain tired of this kind of nasty rhetoric going back and forth between the Democrats and Republicans and the two-dozen-or-so-member coalition of moderate senators who just want a sensible bill that will be passed that will get this matter taken care off and move on to pressing issues like funding the government.