Tuesday 23 July 2019

Democrats reject offer on amnesty by Trump in bid for wall

Legislation going nowhere: Donald Trump is struggling to get his wall built. Photo: Tatyana Zenkovich/Pool via REUTERS
Legislation going nowhere: Donald Trump is struggling to get his wall built. Photo: Tatyana Zenkovich/Pool via REUTERS

Julie Allen

Donald Trump lashed out at the Democratic leadership yesterday for rejecting his proposal to end the month-long government shutdown - and faced criticism from his own supporters, who accused him of offering an amnesty to illegal immigrants.

The US president fired off a series of tweets in which he shifted blame for the impasse to Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, as it became clear that his latest bid to secure funding for a border structure had fallen flat.

On Saturday, he made a TV address to the nation in which he offered to extend temporary protection against deportation to 700,000 "Dreamers" - young people brought to the US illegally as children - in return for $5.7bn (€5bn) to build the wall. But even before the cameras rolled Ms Pelosi called the deal a "non-starter".

The president tweeted: "Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don't see crime and drugs, they only see 2020 - which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the country and allow people to go back to work.

"No, amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a three-year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise, there will be no big push to remove the 11 million plus people who are here - illegally - but be careful Nancy!"

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has been warned that the president's proposed legislation is likely to be dead on arrival if he introduces it to the floor of Congress this week.

Ms Pelosi said: "Unfortunately, his [Trump's] proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives ... it is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together they are a non-starter."

According to the 'New York Times', an internal struggle played out in the West Wing in recent days between Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and Stephen Miller, the immigration hardliner who has Mr Trump's ear.

Mr Kushner is said to have pushed for protection for all 1.8 million undocumented immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme introduced by Barack Obama.

Mr Miller 's intervention limited it to the 700,000 already enrolled.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, admitted in a TV interview yesterday it was possible the president spoke to Michael Cohen before his former lawyer lied to Congress over when the proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow was dropped.

Mr Cohen originally told lawmakers that plans were ditched before the 2016 primaries, but pleaded guilty to making false statements on the subject last year "to be loyal" to Mr Trump.

Mr Giuliani denied that Mr Trump would have directed his former lawyer to mislead Congress and said that pre-testimony discussions would have been "perfectly normal". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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