Whatever Donald Trump thinks he’s doing in the White House, what he’s not doing is negotiating in good in faith.
Trump delivered a much-hyped announcement on the government shutdown—now in its 30th day—on Saturday that was supposed to be an offer to Democrats to break the stalemate. Instead, Trump’s proposal on immigration and the border “wall” was DOA.
Mr. Art of the Deal had offered nothing that Democrats wanted in exchange for the $5.7 billion he is seeking for a “wall” that he can’t even clearly define. It’s a shell game. And Don the Con isn’t winning.
Instead, Trump offered what he already had taken away in the area of immigration policy, particularly involving recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Temporary Protected Status program.
The Trump administration tried to end DACA in September 2017, with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling DACA recipients “illegal aliens” and falsely claiming that the program had caused a “surge” of minors at the southern U.S. border.
But last August, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to fully reinstate DACA. The administration responded in November by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Trump to bypass federal appeals courts in that case and others involving DACA. Trump is hoping that Supreme Court justices will allow him to unilaterally end DACA. But so far, that doesn’t appear to be heading in the president’s direction.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to act on the request, meaning that DACA will remain in place at least until the end of the year, Bloomberg reported. Next Tuesday, the court “could reject the administration’s appeals or agree to hear arguments in the term that starts in October,” the news agency noted. So, while DACA recipients aren’t entirely out of the woods, they are temporarily protected by the courts.
Which is one of the reasons that Trump’s offer for temporary relief for DACA recipients is a non-starter for Democrats, who want Trump to reopen the federal government before any further negotiations on border security.
Trump’s offer on TPS also was a temporary fix in the form of a three-year extension for some 300,000 immigrants whose status is set to expire. In exchange for $5.7 billion? No thanks. By the way, it was Trump’s decision to cancel their TPS status to begin with.
The president also mentioned Saturday that minors seeking asylum from Central America would be able to do so from their home countries. But a program that had allowed Central American minors to do just that was ended in November 2017—by the Trump administration.
As immigration attorney Larry Sandigo pointed out, the State Department stopped accepting new applications for the Central American Minors refugee program on Nov. 9, 2017. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services stopped interviewing these cases on Jan. 31, 2018. “The decision to terminate the CAM refugee program was made as part of the U.S. government review of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for FY 2018,” Immigration Services states on its website.
Unsurprisingly, Democratic leaders, who weren’t involved in negotiating Trump’s proposal, weren’t interested in Trump’s “non-deal” deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement calling the offer a “non-starter” before Trump had even delivered his White House speech.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded by saying that the president “keeps putting forward one-sided and ineffective remedies.” He added, “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.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has crawled out of his cave to assist Trump in the ongoing shell game. “I intend to move to this legislation this week. With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well.”
Good luck with that. Maybe it’ll pass the Senate, but most likely, it won’t pass the House.
So, Trump responded on Sunday with his usual flurry of tweets about a phony border wall. Stupidly, he continued attacking one of the congressional leaders he’s supposed to be negotiating with.
“Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the ‘lefties’ in her party that she has lost control,” Trump tweeted. “And by the way, clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!”