|Trump immigration deal leaves black and brown 'as political pawns'|
|Democrats, advocacy groups slam offer|
|Published Saturday, January 19, 2019 10:57 pm|
|President Trump offered three years of DACA protections and extended Temporary Protective Status for immigrants from countries hit by natural disasters in return for congressional funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.|
President Donald Trump’s proposal to re-open parts of the federal government in exchange for a $5.7 billion border wall has run into a barrier of its own with people of color.
Trump announced Saturday he’s willing to return DACA protections for three years to 700,000 people brought to the U.S. as children as well as restore Temporary Protective Status for immigrants from countries devastated by natural disasters. An estimated 50,000 Haitians and 200,000 Salvadorans were allowed to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis after earthquakes in 2010 and 2001 devastate their countries. They will have until September to gain legal immigrant status or be arrested and deported.
Congressional Democrats and immigrant advocates rejected the offer, insisting the 800,000 furloughed government employees should be returned to work with no additional funding for a physical barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The president’s proposal is yet another example of his willingness to use the well being of black and brown communities as a political pawn,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, D-California. “DACA recipients deserve a permanent solution and black Americans, who are disproportionately impacted by this shutdown, need to have the government immediately reopened. There are federal workers without paychecks, businesses unable to provide services for the government, and millions of families that depend on food stamps that don’t know when they’ll be able to afford their next grocery trip. That’s the crisis this shutdown has caused.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, praised Trump’s offer as a first step toward establishing common ground for a deal.
“I commend President Trump for his leadership in proposing a commonsense compromise to end the current political stalemate,” Tillis said in a statement. “The president’s framework is a fair and pragmatic approach, providing adequate funding to secure our borders and offering relief to DACA and TPS recipients, goals sought by both Democrats and Republicans. It also sets the stage for a major immigration deal in the future, one that could secure our borders once and for all and provide long-term certainty for the DACA and TPS population.”
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, made up of advocacy groups in Illinois, southern California and Virginia, denounced Trump’s proposal.
“We cannot allow a U.S. president to terrorize some Americans in favor of the racist beliefs of others,” the groups said in a statement. “We cannot allow him to change America from a refuge for those in need to a place where white supremacy reigns. Increased resources for enforcement will only lead to more deaths of our siblings at the southern border, more raids, more detentions, and more family separation. This is not a deal that is good for our communities or for America.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, also oppose Trump’s proposal.
“It was President @realDonaldTrump who single-handedly took away DACA and TPS protections in the first place—offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking,” Schumer tweeted.
Pelosi tweeted: “What is original in the President’s proposal is not good. What is good in the proposal is not original. Democrats will vote next week to add additional border security funding for ports of entry, advanced technology for scanning vehicles for drugs & immigration judges.”
Said Bass: “The president could end it if he wanted to but unfortunately, today, he made it clear that he doesn’t.”
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