After facing growing criticism over the partial government shutdown and various rejected deals, President Trump has signed a bill that will reopen the United States government for three weeks.
Recently, Trump moved forward by offering a deal to the Democrats. The deal offered temporary protection for about 700,000 young undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion to help fund the border wall. The proposal made during a 13-minute address given by the President was rejected almost immediately, and even rejected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi before he spoke. Democratic leader, Senator Chuck Schumer, described the offer as “not a compromise but more hostage-taking.”
The proposal was made in an attempt to end the partial shutdown, which became the longest in United States history. Even now that the government has been reopened, negotiations over the border wall between the United States and Mexico will continue.
At one point during negotiations, Trump proposed an offer to postpone his attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from some Latin American and African countries, in exchange for hundreds of miles of border wall to be built, and for law enforcement agents to be deployed along it.
The temporary protection offered in Trump’s proposal will last for three years for some immigrants brought into the country as children, many of whom are now adults. The proposal had many components, including requests for 2,750 additional border agents, $805 million towards drug-detection technology for port entry security and the $5.7 billion to start the building of the wall. The plan for the wall includes 230 miles built this year which, according to the President, would help the crime rate and drug problem “be quickly and greatly reduced.”
The fulfillment of these requests among others, would be in exchange for an extension of the legal status of the Obama-era initiative DACA, and a three-year extension of Temporary Protected Status for about 300,000 people currently facing expiration.
“That is our plan,” said Trump. “Border security, DACA, T.P.S. Many other things. Straightforward, fair, reasonable and common sense with lots of compromise.” The proposal, Trump added, was intended to “break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward.” The speech was the second time during the shutdown where the immigration crisis has been addressed.
The government will now proceed at full operations until Feb. 15. No money in the newest deal has been dedicated to building the border wall, but the government is now working towards paying the federal workers who were asked to work without pay or furloughed during the shutdown.
“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” said Trump in a recent speech addressing the deal. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and Constitution of the United States to address this emergency.”