Reports leaked ahead of President Donald Trump’s Saturday announcement indicating that he might be planning to offer a DACA fix in exchange for the funds he is requesting for a border wall.
With negotiations stalled four weeks into the longest partial government shutdown ever, Axios reported that Trump was planning to offer DACA in an effort to force House Democrats to come back to the table.
NEW: Trump expected to propose DACA-TPS immigration compromise https://t.co/zYx3IOlWQg
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 19, 2019
The offer is expected to include Trump’s $5.7 billion demand for wall money in exchange for the BRIDGE Act — which would extend protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — and also legislation to extend the legal status of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, according to a source with direct knowledge.
The deal was reportedly put together by Vice President Mike Pence and White House advisor Jared Kushner, and mirrors an offer Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham proposed in December.
Put DACA on the table and make them say NO to the Wall and DACA. #DigIn
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 11, 2018
Graham doubled down on his call to add DACA to any proposed deal — and even suggested a way in which the Senate could take the lead — just last week as well.
If Senate passes bipartisan bill that includes border security funding for wall/barrier and legal status for DACA and TPS recipients, would @SpeakerPelosi allow the bill to be taken up in the House?
If the answer is no, then it is the Pelosi Shutdown.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 17, 2019
In recent weeks, several House Democrats have indicated their willingness to negotiate. A number of freshman Democrats have even voiced opposition to party leadership, saying that they’re ready to get to work and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to come to the table is not helping them to build relationships. (RELATED: Some Freshman Democrats Want Party Leadership To Stop Stonewalling Trump On Border Security, Immigration)
Newly seated Democratic Texas Rep. Colin Allred explained to Politico, “I do think it’s setting us back in terms of those coalitions we’re trying to build. I’m not going to rule anything out, I really am not.”
Not only that, but some veteran members have even mentioned protection for DREAMers as an offer they would have to consider.
- Democratic Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson told VICE News, “I think it’s a great suggestion Comprehensive immigration reform has been something that this country should have addressed years ago, so if this provides us with an opportunity to get that done, I think that’s a good thing.”
- Democratic California Rep. Ami Bera, also speaking to VICE News, said, “I think we all want to see DACA protections, so I think there’s an opportunity to, if they give something — it’s called negotiation, right? Give us a chance to protect the Dreamers; maybe we can give something on border security.”
- Democratic Illinois Rep. Bill Foster told Politico that Dreamers in his own district had encouraged him to consider such a compromise. “I think it’s something that should be in the discussion here, because things are obviously going so slowly. I think this is ground that most Democrats should feel comfortable standing on,” he said.
Animosity between Trump and Democrat leadership reached a boiling point earlier in the week when Speaker Pelosi sent a letter to the White House hinting that she would not invite the president to deliver his State of the Union address from the House floor. One day later, Trump canceled Pelosi’s scheduled trip overseas — saying that she would be better served to remain in Washington to continue negotiating.