White House proposal cannot be taken seriously

The President continues to demand $5.7 billion for a wall in exchange for ending the shutdown, and his offers on DACA and TPS are woefully inadequate.

BOSTON, January 19, 2019 – Today President Trump offered a proposal to end the government shutdown, now on its 29th day, by exchanging the $5.7 billion he has demanded for a border wall – now a “steel barrier” – for limited protections for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. In response, MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona said:

“It’s good to see the President finally recognize that the only way out of this shutdown is to actually negotiate, not just stick to his position while repeating false and misleading talking points. And it’s good that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is finally allowing a vote on at least one proposal to end the shutdown.

“However, the offer on the table cannot be taken seriously. It continues to include billions of dollars for what is essentially a monument to fear and xenophobia, and the concessions it purports to make are woefully inadequate. We would welcome hiring 75 more immigration judges, but the same has been offered by Congressional leaders – combined with actual solutions to the humanitarian crisis on our southern border.

“Though the President didn’t explain precisely what his offer for Dreamers entails, he gave no indication that it would involve permanent residency with a path to citizenship, the only possible fair deal. Similarly, for TPS holders, he didn’t offer permanent residency, but only a three-year extension of TPS – which should rightfully have been extended already, as conditions in the affected countries remain dire, per the State Department’s own experts and diplomats. Moreover, courts have already blocked the President from ending DACA and TPS.

“We hope the President will recognize the urgency of ending this shutdown, which has already devastated families across America, and start negotiating in earnest with Congressional leaders.

“We also urge both Democrats and Republicans, as they consider what the President puts on the table and present counter-offers or proposed changes, that they keep listening to affected communities. The voices of Dreamers, TPS holders, border communities and immigrant advocates all need to be heard. Don’t assume you know what’s right for immigrants – ask.”