The president is apparently ready to make a deal this weekend as the government shutdown moves into its 29th day. In exchange for $5.7 billion to build his proposed border wall, Trump will support temporary protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This is being reported by several news outlets.
Trump is expected to announce the plan from the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room at 4 p.m. on Saturday, although he has not given any confirmations.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) urged the president to offer the Democrats protections for immigrants to end the shutdown. His will apparently be offering support for the Bridge Act, legislation Graham co-sponsored. The White House would allow DACA recipients to obtain three-year work permits and extend the TPS protections.
Presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Vice President Mike Pence led the negotiations with members of Congress. Both House and Senate Democrats say they were not consulted about the proposal.
The White House administration has attempted to shut down DACA. It is an Obama-era initiative that allowed around 700,000 young people, now referred to as Dreamers, to avoid deportation. Trump’s administration has also sought to severely restrict TPS, which allows people to reside in the U.S. if they come from certain nations undergoing conflict or recovering from a natural disaster.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dismissed the DACA and TPS deal as a “non-starter.” In a statement issued before Trump’s speech, she said the idea did not “represent a good faith effort to restore stability to people’s lives.”
Others dismissed Trump’s deal as it was reported, suggesting that a breakthrough on reopening the government remained out of reach.
“It’s clearly a non-serious product of negotiations amongst [White House] staff to try to clean up messes the president created in the first place. He’s holding more people hostage for his wall,” a Democratic aide said in a statement.
Pelosi said Democrats largely consider the massive infrastructure project “immoral, ineffective, expensive.” She has also rejected the idea of exchanging border wall funding for DACA protections, saying in December that “they’re two different subjects.”