Trump Offers


Photo courtesy courier journal

Shortly after claiming the title of “Longest Government Shutdown in History,” President Trump proposed a compromise in hopes to reopen the government. The dubbed “End the Shutdown Secure the Border” bill consists of a 3-year legislative relief on the DACA policy and a 3-year extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 300,000 illegal immigrants, in exchange for a budget that would cover a range of issues from humanitarian assistance to the creation of a wall that separates the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Although at initial glance his proposal seems to provide some beneficial change to the immigration system (eg. $800 million designated for humanitarian relief), it demands an unreasonable sum for the Democratic Party.

First, the budget requested by Trump to fund the border wall is set to disproportionately maximize border security rather than providing relief for the families at the border. Trump has requested $800 million dollars in order to alleviate the squalor conditions at the border. However, $800 million is minuscule to the amount that he requested to build the border wall: $5.7 billion dollars. Additionally, he has requested 75 immigration attorneys to alleviate the massive backlog of cases (over 900,000 cases) that accumulated over the years. It is crucial to realize that this intimidating count is the result of the larger latitude of individuals he allowed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take into trial. Though the backlog of cases is a serious issue, there is no guarantee that the creation of the wall will decrease this count either. As Trump’s solution to the immigration issue, the wall is a backless case that is unreliable when dealing with the highly complex immigration topic.

The Democrats are adamant to go against Trump’s proposal-and with a good reason. The problem with using the extension of both the DACA policy and the TPS as a point of leverage is tri-fold. First, the Supreme Court took no action on the removal of the DACA policy – as Trump stated they would – shows that for the time being, the policy is still in place with no set deadline in sight. There is no immediate sense of urgency on the DACA issue and thus, the Democrats are justified to demand a proposal that at least attempts to provide a point of solvency on the immigration debate. Second, the “3-year” extensions that he is proposing only gives the government more time to “clarify the immigration issue,” but provides no framework as to how the time will be used. The removal and separation of immigrant families is a severe issue that must be addressed head-on with a tangible policy, not more time for the President to kill any policy that Congress has to offer regarding the legalization of immigrants. Finally, the bill states that only 50,000 underage Central Americans would be able to apply for asylum each year, and only 15,000 will receive protection. The trial process itself is problematic, for the Department of Homeland Security will be reviewing the cases, not immigration judges. The promise of protecting 1 million illegal immigrants is a scam that holds less truth than it appeals.  

Regardless of the various views on the bill, one thing remains blatantly clear – the government is in a gridlock that is holding 800,000 Americans hostage. It’s time that the Trump administration brings up reasonable solutions to Congress that are not one-sided and end the shutdown.