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story.lead_photo.caption “This is a common-sense compromise both parties should embrace,” President Donald Trump said Saturday. “The radical left can never control our borders. I will never let it happen.”

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump made an offer Saturday to reopen a government that's been partially shut down since Dec. 22, but Democrats were quick to dismiss his proposal as a "non-starter."

In a nationally televised speech, Trump said he would agree to extend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program put in place under President Barack Obama for young people brought to the country as children and now here illegally. He would also extend temporary protected status for people from some Latin American and African nations fleeing natural disasters or violence.

In exchange, Trump again called for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, though he described it as "steel barriers in high-priority locations." He said the barriers are needed to block what he called the flow of drugs and crime into the country.

The president also called for hundreds of millions of dollars for humanitarian assistance and drug detection, and for hiring thousands of new law enforcement agents to be deployed on the southern border.

Trump declared that "both sides in Washington must simply come together," adding that he was there "to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border."

The president said Saturday that he was incorporating ideas from "rank-and-file" Democrats, even though top Democrats made clear that they had not been consulted.

"This is a common-sense compromise both parties should embrace," Trump said. He added: "The radical left can never control our borders. I will never let it happen."

A senior House Democratic aide said the plan was "not a compromise" because it still includes Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border -- the same request that led to the shutdown.

Trump said Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will put the legislation on the Senate floor for a vote this week, though McConnell had previously stated that no vote should be held in the Senate until Trump and Democrats agree on a bill.

Trump's remarks from the Diplomatic Room marked the second time he has addressed the nation about the partial shutdown. He made his remarks after overseeing a naturalization ceremony in the Oval Office for five new Americans, who took the Oath of Allegiance from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The event was intended to underscore Trump's support of foreigners who enter the country through legal immigration programs.

Trump's son-in-law and senior aide, Jared Kushner, led the work on Saturday's proposal, said three people familiar with White House thinking who were not authorized to speak publicly. Some said Nielsen, Vice President Mike Pence and White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney were involved, too.

The White House billed the announcement as a major step forward. The move came as 800,000 federal workers are furloughed or working without receiving paychecks. Numerous government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, are operating at minimal staffing levels. Many public services are unavailable to Americans during the closure.

Mulvaney insisted that declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress -- Trump has threatened to do so -- remains on the table, but he added that the "best way to fix this is through legislation."

Mulvaney also noted that Tuesday was the deadline for the next federal pay period, saying: "If the bill is filibustered on Tuesday ... people will not get paid."

Congressional Republicans were optimistic about the proposal. Sen. Lindsey Graham said a deal could be reached "in a couple of weeks."

"We're at a stalemate," the South Carolina Republican said Saturday in Ankara, Turkey. "The good news: I've been talking behind the scenes with Democrats, and the vice president. I believe there is a deal that can be reached fairly quickly. I think this can be done in a couple of weeks, not a couple of months."

Arkansas' U.S. Rep. Steve Womack echoed the president's language, calling Saturday's proposal "common-sense and bipartisan."

"Rejecting this compromise would be to show that political obstructionism is more important than governing," the Republican from Rogers said. "It's time for my Democratic colleagues to come to the table and do what is right for our national security, federal workers, and all Americans."


Conservatives and liberals criticized the proposal, with some conservatives expressing anger that the president was attempting to bridge the divide with Democrats.

"The offer the president announced today is a loser for the forgotten American workers who were central to his campaign promises," said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, which seeks to reduce legal and illegal immigration to the U.S.

Trump had embraced the shutdown in December in part because of warnings from his most ardent supporters that he was passing up his last, best chance to start building the wall before Democrats took control of the House in the new year.

Those supporters included conservative firebrand Ann Coulter, who had written a book titled In Trump We Trust in 2016, but who criticized the president last month with a column titled "Gutless President in a Wall-Less Country." Coulter on Saturday accused the president of offering to grant amnesty to millions of people in the United States illegally in exchange for 100 miles of border wall.

"So if we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall," she tweeted.

In a briefing with reporters, Pence defended the proposal from criticism from the right.

"This is not an amnesty bill," he said.

Administration officials said the protections Trump proposed would apply only to those currently in the program shielding them from deportation, and the temporary protected status would apply to those who currently have it and who have been in the U.S. since 2011. That means people from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti -- countries that saw their status revoked since Trump took office -- would get a reprieve.

Trump previously dismissed a deal involving people brought to the U.S. as children, saying he would prefer to see first whether the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program survives a court challenge.

On Friday, the Supreme Court took no action on the Trump administration's request to decide by early summer whether Trump's bid to end that program was legal, meaning it probably will survive at least another year.

A previous attempt to reach a compromise that addressed the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals broke down a year ago when the White House also demanded cuts in legal immigration.

Trump's offer was also panned Saturday by progressive groups, with Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, calling it a "one-sided proposal."

Some Democrats rejected Trump's offer as unacceptable before it was officially announced. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a "non-starter," saying it was "a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable."

The California Democrat said the effort could not pass in the House and again called on Trump to reopen the government from a shutdown that is in its 30th day, the longest in U.S. government history.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer described the proposal as simply "more hostage taking."

Democrats have been under pressure from immigrant-rights organizations not to give Trump funding for a wall. And Trump's offer would not provide a path to permanent legal status -- or citizenship -- that many Democrats have sought in any immigration deal that would ramp up border security measures.

Democrats made their own move late Friday to break the impasse when they pledged to provide hundreds of millions of dollars more for border security.

Pelosi said Democrats will pass legislation to reopen the government this week, after which Congress will negotiate border security. Pelosi said Democrats will also pass six bills agreed to by House and Senate negotiators.

"The president must sign these bills to reopen government immediately and stop holding the American people hostage with this senseless shutdown," Pelosi said.

A reporter asked Trump on Saturday whether the shutdown had become too personal between himself and Pelosi.

"It's not personal for me," he said. "She's being controlled by the radical left, which is a problem."

A spokesman for Pelosi did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Information for this article was contributed by Jill Colvin, Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller, Alan Fram, Matthew Daly and Colleen Long of The Associated Press; by Katie Zezima, Erica Werner, David Nakamura, Paige Winfield Cunningham, Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, Paul Kane and Damian Paletta of The Washington Post; and by Cagan Koc of Bloomberg News.

President Donald Trump leaves the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Saturday after saying in a televised address that “both sides in Washington must simply come together” to end the government shutdown.

A Section on 01/20/2019

Print Headline: Trump offers DACA shift for $5.7B wall; Democrats unimpressed, call proposal ‘non-starter’


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Archived Comments

  • RBear
    January 20, 2019 at 6:26 a.m.

    To start with, Graham is in Turkey after Trump cancelled all trips by congressional members? What? Talk about hypocrisy and attacking Democrats. Graham is supposed to be one of the key Senate leaders that has been working towards a solution and he's OUT OF THE COUNTRY? I don't care WHAT he's doing there. If it's not about working for a solution to the shutdown, the trip is unnecessary now.
    Trump is offering what has been a temporary solution to the DACA issue that was supposed to be fixed after the last government shutdown. In other words, Republicans failed to keep their promise that DACA would be resolved last January so why should Democrats trust them on this round? This isn't a deal. It's another example of Lucy pulling the football.
    For all that Trump is asking for, we need a permanent solution to DACA. We have a bigger crisis with the disruption of so many families for something that should be simple. There is a proven process for DACA qualification and the vast majority of them are productive citizens in our country. It's time to quit kicking this can down the road.
    Trump may claim that Pelosi is being controlled by the "radical left," but in reality he's been controlled by the radical right since this crisis began. Wasn't there a deal that had passed both the House and Senate that was derailed after the Freedom Caucus and a few extreme right radio freaks intervened?

  • 23cal
    January 20, 2019 at 7:46 a.m.

    Seems like we already had DACA, and Trump took it away. A court case gave it back temporarily. Now he wants to give it back TEMPORARILY if he gets $5.7 billion dollars for a PERMANENT wall. This is so we can have three years to make effective and fair immigration reform. By the way, SCOTUS isn't going to hear the DACA case this year, so the first year of "extension" Trump is giving to the Dems is something they already have. Thanks a lot.
    Who doesn't realize that once he gets the money his Republican majority senate will NEVER------NEVER, NEVER, NEVER----agree to any kind of immigration reform that would be acceptable to the Democrats? For those who haven't been paying attention: they have had forever to do so and have consistently failed to do so. Even if they were to miraculously do so, there is no guarantee that Trump would sign it. Not only is there no guarantee, odds are he wouldn't just for spite. Every Republican effort on immigration has been to decrease it and to make it even more difficult. The idea they will come to the table and Kumbya after he gets his money is ludicrous.

    This is the most imaginary carrot you could possibly think of. Give me money now and your immigration reform check is in the mail.
    Nope on a rope.
    This is not reasonable. This isn't fair. However, he is always screaming about negotiating, and I would have to admit it is a good initial negotiating position.

  • RBear
    January 20, 2019 at 8:01 a.m.

    Great points, 23cal. Those points will be made very clearly by the media and Democrats when confronting Trump and McConnell on this bill. Quite honestly, I hope Pelosi and Schumer make the time to visit Trump, McConnell, and Graham (when he gets back in the states from his junket to Turkey) to deliver that message in person. This time, let's hope Trump stays in the room long enough to hear Pelosi out beyond no to his demand for the full $5.7 billion. You can't negotiate if you walk out of the room on the first answer. Regardless what some right wingers might think, that's not negotiation. That's being pig-headed.
    As you stated, what Trump offered is what was already a given. SCOTUS won't hear the case until 2020 and then a decision wouldn't come until probably June of that year, just in time for the presidential elections and right before yet another potential government crisis when funding runs out for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. McConnell will probably not even get enough votes to get the bill on the floor of the Senate which shows how poorly executed this strategy is.

  • Skeptic1
    January 20, 2019 at 11:42 a.m.

    Trump is walking Pelosi up to the door of him funding the wall by declaring a national emergency. The Senate will vote for the bill next week, if Pelosi rejects it for what is now obvious, that she doesn't him to have a win no matter who it hurts, Trump will win and have smooth sailing towards his declaration of a national security to fund border security as he will have done all he can. This power hungry witch is destroying the Democrats and reminding the country why she was sent packing before.

  • Seitan
    January 20, 2019 at 12:01 p.m.

    There is no national emergency, according to all nine representatives who live along the border. So if Trump declares one, it will just add to his considerable list of lies.

  • RBear
    January 20, 2019 at 12:11 p.m.

    So what I see in skeptic's comment is that there is no negotiation. Trump presented his proposal, McConnell will take it up for a vote, and Pelosi will reject it. Nowhere in that process did I see her suggest that the two sides would discuss the differences and come to a middle ground which is what they have claimed has been missing. It appears for all the talk about negotiations, it's not in the mindset of right wingers which seems to coincide with what we're seeing.
    Remember, Trump didn't really negotiate with Pelosi and Schumer. He walked in, asked if he was going to get his $5.7 billion and when she said no, he promptly walked out. No discussion or anything. In other words, no negotiation on his part. From all I have seen, no one in the Democrats and Independents feel this deal should be accepted with the terms it currently has. If Trump REALLY wants this wall, he'll offer permanent protection for DACA recipients, something he's alluded to several times. The problem is his base will attack him for that offer which is who derailed the last compromise that was ready to be signed before Christmas.
    Who owns this shutdown? Trump and McConnell. Who REALLY owns this shutdown? The far right extremists in the Republican Party.

  • GeneralMac
    January 20, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.


    I have much experience as a UNION president and as a union steward.

    "negotiating" doesn't mean you always meet in the middle.

    I have seen issues of UNION members that were so strongly held that we said " this issue is non-negotiable"

    I have seen issues that management felt so strongly about they said "this is non -negotiable"

    I have seen the UNION walk out on strike.
    I have seen management walk away and impose a lock out.

    Everyone thinks "negotiations" means the 2 sides sit around a campfire singing Kumbia and meet in the middle.

    How naive !

  • Seitan
    January 20, 2019 at 12:39 p.m.

    GM. So many "I" statements; so much raging ego.

  • GeneralMac
    January 20, 2019 at 12:41 p.m.

    Go eat another veggie burger and leave this discussion to adults with real life experiences.

  • joebub61yahoocom
    January 20, 2019 at 1:01 p.m.

    Crisis? What crisis Rbear? There’s no crisis. Chuck and Nancy told us so dummy.