United States President Donald Trump on Saturday (19 January), in an attempt to end the ongoing impasse, offered protection from deportation to two categories of immigrants. In return, Congress would have to grant approval for funding his major electoral promise, the Mexican border wall, The Hindu has reported.
President, in a televised White House address, announced that in exchange for the $5.7 billion funding for 230 miles of “steel barriers in high-priority areas” at the US-Mexico border, he would offer deportation relief and work permits to two groups, the seven lakh “Dreamers” - children who were brought illegally in United States, and three lakh Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients hailing from catastrophe-stricken countries who have been in US for an average of 19 years.
He said that these concessions would “build the trust and goodwill necessary to begin real immigration reform.”
However, Democrats swiftly rejected Trump’s proposals. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives and the face of Democratic opposition, called the proposal a “non-starter”. "It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports," Pelosi said in a statement.
Democrats, who are in majority in the House of Representatives and hold the key votes for passage of the wall funding bill in the Senate, have repeatedly refused desired funding for the wall. In retaliation, Trump refused to sign on the bill passed by legislature for funding different departments, causing a government shutdown.
“I am here today to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown and solve the crisis on the southern border,” Mr. Trump said in his address, while adding that the US-Mexico border poses a threat to the national security of the country.