Trump offers a deal on immigration and shutdown, and it hits a wall

The Democrats have already rejected the proposal..

On day 29 of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, President Trump took to the White House Diplomatic Room to deliver a proposal that, he promised, would “break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown.”

Based on the reaction from Democrats, it did no such thing.

Trump, who regularly demonizes undocumented immigrants and has proposed drastic changes to the legal immigration system, presided over a well-publicized naturalization ceremony for five new Americans from the Britain, South Korea, Jamaica, Iraq and Bolivia hours before the speech, in which he struck a notably softer and more inclusive tone than usual. He spoke sympathetically of the very real dangers faced by Central American migrants, particularly women and children, along the journey to the U.S.-Mexico border, and praised “our nation’s proud history of welcoming legal immigrants from all over the world into our national family.”

The president coupled his non-negotiable demand for $5.7 billion for the construction of new physical barriers along the southern border, the major sticking point with Congress, with an offer to relax some of his opposition to programs important to Democrats.

Although he described his offer as a “common sense compromise that both parties should embrace,” it was immediately criticized from both sides: by Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who rejected it even before Trump’s speech was delivered, and by immigration hardliners among Republicans, including Iowa Rep. Steve King, who earlier in the week had been stripped of his committee assignments over racist remarks.


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