Democrats Reject Trump’s Amnesty Framework, Seek Alliance With GOP’s Business Wing
4 Feb 2018
Democratic Senators are rejecting President Donald Trump’s four-part amnesty-and-immigration reform, and are instead working with business-first GOP Senators to pass an amnesty with only token reforms.
“There is not likely to be a DACA deal, though we’re working every single day, on telephone calls and person to person, to try to reach this bipartisan agreement,” Sen. Dick Durbin told Jake Tapper on the February 4 edition of CNN’s State of the Union. Durbin said the Democrats would not stage another shutdown, but declared:
I think we’re making real progress. I want to salute the moderates in both the Republicans and Democratic caucuses in the Senate. They have really been a positive voice, Democrats and Republicans sitting in the same room working to try to solve this problem.
The Democrats’ sharp-elbowed rejection of Trump’s four-part plan — including an amnesty for at least 1.8 million illegals — explains Trump’s Friday complaints that Democrats are not bargaining over his four-part framework offer. The offer trades the amnesty in exchange for a border wall with legal upgrades, plus ending the diversity lottery and winding down the chain migration program over the next 10 years.
On Friday, February 2, Trump told reporters:
I would say we want to make a deal. I think they want to use it for political purposes, for elections. I really don’t — I really am not happy with the way it’s going from the standpoint of the Democrats negotiating.
Trump does not seem to be dropping any of his three asks in the closed-door talks. On January 2, for example, Trump attending a public briefing on border security issues, where officials described the legal loopholes used by migrants to get through the border. Trump responded:
These are things you can’t even negotiate. I mean, you can’t negotiate this with the Democrats, because this is stuff for safety. And it’s not like, “Oh, gee, let’s, you know, work a halfway deal.” You have such bad — you have such bad [border] procedures. You’re forced to do everything that you people were taught not to do, when you think about it.
If Trump wants to keep his proposal on track, he should promise to veto the Democrats’ push to pass an amnesty with token “border security” upgrades, said Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations at NumbersUSA.
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