President Trump's immigration commitment package to end the partial closure of the government provoked sharp reactions from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike.
In a televised speech at the White House on Saturday afternoon, Trump offered Democrats a three-year extension of protection for 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries in exchange for the $ 5.7 billion has been looking for a barrier along the southern border of the nation with mexico
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"Our immigration system must be a source of pride … not a source of embarrbadment, since it is around the world," Trump said in his statement.
The president's proposal was met with disdain by a number of prominent Democratic lawmakers. Many used the same language in their criticism, accusing Trump of keeping the government and federal workers as "hostages."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, tweeted: "What we did not hear from the president was any sympathy for the federal workers who face so much uncertainty due to the chaos of #TrumpShutdown."
Before Trump made his announcement, Pelosi had called his advance proposal "non-titular."
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"On the one hand, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the recipients of Dreamers and TPS that our country needs and supports."
For his part, Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Senate minority, called Trump's proposal "unilateral and ineffective."
"It is clear that the president realizes that by closing the government and wounding so many American workers and their families, he has put himself and the country in an untenable position." Unfortunately, he continues to present unilateral and ineffective remedies. One way out: open the government, Mr. President, and then the Democrats and the Republicans can have a civil discussion and propose bipartisan solutions. "
Schumer, D-N.Y, concluded: "It was the president who took the protections of DACA and TPS alone in the first place: offering some protections in exchange for the wall is not a compromise, but rather a hostage-taking."
The majority leader in the House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, shared a similar sentiment, urging Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell to "stop holding the government hostage and end the closure" immediately.
"The president must stop holding the government hostage and finish the closure so that federal employees can return to work serving the American people. "There is no reason for Americans to run out of work and without a paycheck, while negotiations are conducted in the best way to secure our borders," he said.
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Hoyer said the negotiation can progress after the government is reopened.
"With the government open, we can negotiate an agreement to strengthen border security that both parties can support and that is the best thing for the American people."
Another Democrat, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York, who announced her offer to the White House on Jan. 15 in an episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," said Trump's offer was a "bad deal."
Gillibrand tweeted: "Trump ordered the end of DACA and TPS, then closed the government, and now he is holding the federal workers hostage, saying he will temporarily return what he took, only if we give him a useless and useless wall. Mexico would pay for this, this is a bad agreement. "
Then came the response from New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez. He bluntly accused Trump of forcing "a useless close" to pay for the border wall.
"It's about more than 800,000 Americans who have been taken hostage by a president who has forced a useless lock-up to pay for an expensive and ineffective wall." It's not about immigration, dreamers and recipients of TPS are not negotiation tokens. It is unacceptable that after "President Trump is eliminating the protections of DACA, eliminating the TPS program for thousands of immigrants and creating a humanitarian crisis on the border, offering temporary solutions in exchange for a permanent wall."
The Democratic senator also said that "a legitimate negotiation" can proceed after the government is reopened.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware criticized McConnell for refusing to "negotiate meaningfully with the Senate Democrats," but he also called Trump's offer "a first step toward comprehensive immigration reform."
"This senseless government shutdown is hurting millions of Americans, and their impacts are only getting worse." The President must reopen the government so that Republicans and Democrats in Congress can work with the White House to find a reasonable solution for security. of the border and immigration. " "I'm sure a reasonable compromise can be reached, but not as long as President Trump continues to maintain significant parts of the government and the McConnell leader refuses to negotiate meaningfully with the Senate Democrats," he said.
"Some relief for the dreamers and an extension of the temporary protection status represent a first step towards comprehensive immigration reform, but more ideas from members of both parties should be taken and debated." Republicans and Democrats are ready to work on a solution, but the fact remains that there is still no reason for large parts of the federal government to shut down while we debate appropriate border security and immigration policies. "
Republican lawmakers, at the opposite end of the spectrum of reaction, praised the president for his willingness to negotiate.
The majority leader in the Senate, McConnell, for example, praised the president "for taking bipartisan measures to address current immigration problems."
In his statement, he said; "The commitment in a divided government means that everyone can not get everything they want at all times, the president's proposal reflects that, and a fair compromise is achieved by incorporating priorities from both sides of the aisle."
"This bill adopts a bipartisan approach to reopen the closed parts of the federal government. It combines the investment in border security our nation needs with additional immigration measures that both Democratic and Republican members believe are necessary. Unlike the bills that they have received from the House in recent weeks, this proposal could resolve this stalemate. It has the full support of the President and could be signed into law to quickly reopen the government. "
Republican Whip Steve Scalise called on Democrats to match Trump's willingness to negotiate.
"The time for political games is over, the Democrats must put aside their personal distaste for the president, end their obstruction and finally get to the negotiating table." It is time for the Democrats to do the right thing for the running and the security of our nation and agree "to an agreement that opens our government and includes funds for a border wall and other measures to resolve this serious immigration crisis on our southern border," he said in a statement.
Also on the Republican side, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she was "hopeful" for a "constructive debate" with the Democrats.
"Engagement is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength, especially when hundreds of thousands of families are being harmed." The administration, Senate Republicans and Democrats must now resolve this stalemate before 800,000 federal and their families lose another paycheck, and our economy is more damaged, "he said.
Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, whose views on the president and his policies have fluctuated, said Trump "presented a reasonable and good faith proposal that will reopen the government and help secure the border."
He tweeted: "I hope to vote in favor and I will work to encourage my fellow Republicans and Democrats to do the same.
Earlier, while speaking in Ogden, Utah, Romney said he did not understand Pelosi's position on border security.
"You (Pelosi) and your fellow Democrats have voted for more than 600 miles of border fence in the past, why not vote for another few miles now? I do not understand your position, I really do not understand," the Republican senator said.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio had a positive opinion of the agreement proposed by Trump, like his fellow Republicans. He said Trump made "a very reasonable offer" and urged the Democrats to work with him.
"The way to end this closure is for both parties to make mutual concessions to reach an agreement. The president has made a very reasonable offer to extend the protections of DACA and TPS in exchange for security measures at the border he supports. "I hope that instead of choosing the path of endless obstruction, the Democrats will decide to work with him to reach an agreement and end the closure," he said.
Similarly, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, described the president's immigration offer as "reasonable."
McCarthy tweeted: "President Trump has presented a serious and reasonable offer to reform parts of our broken immigration system and reopen the government, now is the time for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the country is watching."
Adam Shaw of Fox News contributed to this report.