Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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Trump proposal: fund a wall, extend DACA

President Donald Trump, seeking to appeal to a wider audience amid a growing public backlash over the shutdown, announced his support Saturday for a deal that would end the shutdown, fund a border wall, and provide protections for undocumented immigrants.

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The president said the US would restore Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for 300,000 people, allow 700,000 Dreamers to keep their protections for three more years, hire thousands more border security agents to work on the border with Mexico, and provide $5.7 billion for a wall. “That is our plan: border security, DACA, TPS, many other things,” he said. “Straightforward, fair, reasonable, and common sense with lots of compromise.”

But his proposal, which he called a “compromise … intended to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward,” was appreciated neither by Democratic congressional leaders nor by some of his core supporters, the New York Times reports.

“Forget it, President Trump. All they will do is ask for more and more from you. The Dems are the ones holding those employees hostage. Do not sign anything until you get what you want,” wrote one commenter on FOX News. Note: We’re generally unable to confirm the identity of the poster or state with certainty that the comment wasn’t made by a bot (FOX News doesn’t provide a robot-reCaptcha for comment writers).

“Amnesty encourages further illegal immigration, incentivizes the tragedy of human trafficking and undermines our citizens’ confidence in the rule of law,” the New York Times quoted James Carafano as saying. He’s a national security expert at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation who worked on Mr Trump’s transition.

The proposal, however, was generally appreciated by Republicans in Congress, who mostly said they hoped it would bring Democrats to the table for more constructive debate. Senate leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, for example, said the Senate would move on the proposal quickly.

“Everyone has made their point—now it’s time to make a law,” he wrote in a press release. “I intend to move to this legislation this week. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well. The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the President’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly.”

We would be remiss not to point out a better deal, with Senate Republican backing, that was not brought to a vote in the House in 2013. That bill would have laid out a path to citizenship, not merely a temporary deferral, for DACA recipients, and it provided more than $20 billion for enhancements to border security, including more agents. I believe many Republicans want to reopen the government, and that 2013 bill would be a start at a stronger compromise. If such a bill were tabled and passed in the House today, the constructive debates everyone wants could be over the wall, not over the permanence of protections for actual people, whose lives are being thoroughly disrupted by the shutdown.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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