With the US government shut down heading into its 30th day, US President Donald Trump says his proposed immigration deal would not lead to amnesty for ‘dreamers’, but seemed to signal support for amnesty as part of a larger immigration agreement.
In a now customary Twitter barrage, Trump said he would not seek the removal of millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States while also targeting House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Be careful Nancy
Following an offer on Saturday, Trump tweeted, ‘No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3-year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else.’
He continued, ‘Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!’
Dreamers are undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, and are protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) instituted by former president Barack Obama.
Trump had previously indicated that he would bin DACA, but due to court order, it remains in place.
Spruiking the deal, Trump flagged in a Saturday speech from the White House that three years of protection would be offered to dreamers and holders of temporary protected status (TPS) — a category of immigrant affected by armed conflict, natural disaster or other strife.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader hailed the proposal as a ‘bold solution’, and will attempt to get it through the Senate this week. The bill would include funding for government departments that have been shut down over the last 30 days, as well as disaster aid and Trump’s immigration proposal.
Trump thinking about elections
Perhaps with elections in mind, Trump seemed to be responding to conservative critics who levelled the charge that he was proposing amnesty and going back on a campaign promise.
Around one fourth of the US government has been closed as of 22 December over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the border with Mexico — something Democrats have refused to consider.
Approximately 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or have had to work without pay.
There have been indications that a deal may be struck, even with Democrats insisting that the government should reopen before further discussions about border security take place.
This is promising as it is strange that Democrats are now calling for fiscal restraint on a specific issue, despite traditionally being the party of largesse.
The Australian Tribune suspects that the Democrats may be engaged in cynical posturing in order to capture desired voter demographics.
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