Trump and Schumer Trade Barbs Over Wall

January 24, 2018 Updated: January 24, 2018

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump has remained adamant on building a wall along the southwest border.

As soon as the federal government resumed—after Democrats relented on their immigration demands to conclude the shutdown—Trump and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stepped up the rhetoric over an amnesty deal for illegal immigrants.

Trump tweeted late Tuesday that without funding for a wall, there will be no amnesty for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!” Trump tweeted on Jan. 23.

There are currently around 700,000 DACA recipients who entered the United States illegally when they were children and who now have temporary deportation immunity and work authorization.

However, one amnesty deal on the table right now is the DREAM Act, which would apply to 3.25 million illegal immigrants and cost $26 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The “DREAM” stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors.

Trump’s tweet came after Schumer said he has taken wall funding off the table for upcoming negotiations, according to a Politico report.

Schumer informed the White House on Sunday that he was rescinding the funding offer he made last Friday while negotiating prior to the shutdown, Politico said.

Schumer accused Trump of rejecting two bipartisan compromises to avert the shutdown. However, neither compromise included the main pillars of Trump immigration priorities—the wall, tighter border security, and an end to chain migration and the diversity visa lottery.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the Flake-Graham-Durbin immigration agreement was “totally unacceptable to the President and should be declared dead on arrival,” in a press briefing on Jan. 23.

Congress is now trying to reach a deal on immigration by Feb. 8.

Schumer tweeted on Jan 4, that it is “nasty” to call the DACA deal an amnesty. “Protecting Dreamers is our moral obligation. The eyes of America are on us to help them, and we must get the job done,” Schumer said.

DACA protections are likely to run out on March 5. Trump rescinded the program on Sept. 5, 2017, and gave Congress six months to find a permanent solution. But, the expiration date of DACA heads to the Supreme Court in the next few weeks after a federal judge ruled that Trump could not end the program. The ruling forced the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to resume accepting requests to renew DACA protections.

Sanders said she doesn’t think Democrats and Republicans are “that far apart” on their negotiations on the amnesty.

“DACA is something both Republicans and Democrats, the House and the Senate, all want to find a solution to—a permanent solution to that,” she said at a press briefing on Jan. 23.

“Border security—Democrats may not agree on the exact amount, but they certainly agree that there is a need for that in their willingness to do that.

“A lot of these individuals—both Democrats and Republicans—have voted for ending chain migration, ending the visa lottery system, in the past, so I think that indicates their willingness and their agreement on that issue as well.”

Sanders reiterated that the president wants to see “at a minimum, in this first phase … four principles addressed,” those being border security, an end to chain migration and the diversity visa lottery, and an amnesty for DACA recipients.


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