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Trump offers ‘compromise’ to end govt shutdown, Democrats say No

January 21, 2019 06:06 AM

COURTESY TOI JAN 21

Trump offers ‘compromise’ to end govt shutdown, Democrats say No
Prez Proposal To Extend Protections For Dreamers In Exchange For Wall Money Dismissed As ‘Non-Starter’
Washington:

In a bid to break the shutdown stalemate, President Donald Trump offered to extend temporary protections for young people brought to the US illegally as children and those fleeing disaster zones in exchange for his long-promised border wall. But while Trump cast the move as a “common-sense compromise”, Democrats were quick to dismiss it as a “nonstarter”.


With polls showing a majority of Americans blaming him and Republicans for the impasse, Trump said from the White House that he was there “to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border”.

To ensure wall funding, Trump said he would extend temporary protections for three years for “Dreamers”, young people brought to the country illegally as children. Administration officials said the protections would apply only to the approximately 7,00,000 people currently enrolled in the Obama-era programme shielding them from deportation. The plan would offer no pathway to citizenship for those immigrants — a deal breaker for many Democrats.

Trump also proposed a three-year extension to the temporary protected status the US offers to immigrants fleeing countries affected by natural disasters or violence. Officials said the exemption would apply to about 3,00,000 people who have been living in the US under the programme since 2011. That means people from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti — countries that saw the status revoked since Trump took office — would get a reprieve.

Democrats criticised Trump’s proposal for failing to offer a permanent solution for the immigrants in question and because he refuses to back away from his $5.7 billion demand for a wall along the US-Mexico border, which the party strongly oppposes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the expected offer was nothing more than “a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives” and that the effort could not pass the House “What is original in the President’s proposal is not good. What is good in the proposal is not original.”

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer also panned the proposal as “more hostage taking”, saying that it was Trump who had “single-handedly” imperiled the future of the immigrants he proposed to help. The Democrat said there is only “one way out” of the shutdown. “Open up the government, Mr. President, and then Democrats and Republicans can have a civil discussion.

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