Washington: Democrats rejected United States President Donald Trump’s offer to provide temporary protection to migrants.
Rejecting the proposal that includes millions of dollars for humanitarian aid and drug detection technology, Democrats called on Trump to reopen the government before negotiations on immigration could begin, reported CNN.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been negotiating the reopening of the government along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said that it was “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.”
Calling the provisions for the migrants a ‘non-starter’, Pelosi said in a statement, “It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”
Schumer stated that Trump’s offer was not really an offer at all.
Referring to the move as ‘hostage taking’, Schumer, in a statement said, “It was the President who single-handedly took away DACA and TPS protections in the first place — offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking.”
On Saturday, Trump outlined his plans in a bid to end the nearly month-long partial government shutdown by offering temporary protections for undocumented migrants in exchange for the funding for his proposed border wall on the US-Mexico border.
In a televised speech from the White House, Trump hinted at extending protections for roughly 700,000 ‘Dreamers’, the children of illegal migrants brought into the US, under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme for three years.
He floated a three-year extension of protections for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in exchange for 5.7 billion USD funding for the wall, The Hill reported.
The TPS is a system where people, whose families have been affected by war or disasters and are allowed to live and work in the US. Interestingly, Trump has been vocal against the TPS and DACA programmes, asserting that non-Americans were “taking away” potential jobs from Americans.
The shutdown, that has now entered its 29th day, was triggered on December 22 last year by a lack of consensus between Democratic lawmakers and the US President on the USD 5.7 billion funding for the wall on the border with Mexico, which was one of Trump’s electoral promises.
The ongoing partial government shutdown is the longest in the history of the US.
Roughly a quarter of the government is closed and an estimated 800,000 federal workers have been adversely affected by the lapse in funding, who are either furloughed or working without any pay.