President Trump offers protection to immigrants in return for wall funds

Washington: US President Donald Trump has launched a new plan to end a government shutdown, which has been ongoing for nearly a month, by offering protection from deportations for some undocumented immigrants in exchange for USD 5.7 billion for constructing a wall on the US-Mexico border.
The Democrats, however, rejected the deal as a “non-starter” and called on Trump to open the government before negotiations on immigration could start.
Trump, who made his offer during a televised speech from the White House, offered that he would give protection from deportation for young people brought to the country illegally as children — also known as ‘Dreamers’ — and also extend it to those with temporary protected status after fleeing countries affected by natural disasters or violence.
The president also called for USD 800 million in “urgent humanitarian assistance” and USD 805 million for drug detection technology to help secure US ports of entry.
Trump also proposed a slew of measures to increase border security, including an increase in law enforcement, saying he was offering a “commonsense compromise both parties (Republicans and Democrats) should embrace.”
The president said these concessions would “build the trust and goodwill necessary to begin real immigration reform.”
The divide between the Trump-led Republican Party and the Democratic Party led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the border wall led to the partial shutdown, which has rendered 800,000 federal government workers without work and crippled key departments. The shutdown — the longest in the US history– entered its 29th day, as Trump on Saturday made the announcements.
“Both sides in Washington must simply come together,” Trump said in a White House speech, adding he is trying to “break the logjam.”
“It is time to reclaim our future from the extreme voices who fear compromise and demand open borders, which means drugs pouring in, human trafficking and a lot of crime,” he said.
Trump said he is here today to “break the logjam” and provide Congress with a path forward to end the shutdown and solve the crisis on the border.
Defending his plan for the border wall, he said, “The radical left can never control our borders. Walls are not immoral, in fact they are the opposite of immoral because they will save many lives.”
Trump said he proposes “three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients brought here unlawfully by their parents at a young age many years ago”.
This extension will give them access to work permits, social security numbers and protection from deportation, he said. The DACA allows such people to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for work permit.
He said farmers and vineyards will not be affected because lawful and regulated entry into the country will be easy and consistent. The president pushed for the USD 5.7 billion to fund the “strategic deployment” of a barrier system or wall on the US’ southern border, saying this is not a 2,000-mile concrete structure from sea to sea.
“These are steel barriers in high priority locations” and much of the border is already protected by mountains and water,” Trump said.
Trump said said that once the government is open, he will hold weekly bipartisan meetings to reform the immigration system.
The divide between the Republicans and Democrats, and the shutdown are fallouts of Trump refusing to sign spending bills without the USD 5.7 billion to start constructing the border wall.
Meanwhile, the Democrats appeared unimpressed by his proposal and have dismissed it. (PTI)

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