Democrats have rejected a proposal from President Donald Trump that would have extended the DACA amnesty for three years in a swap for $25 billion in wall funding, according to Politico.
The closed-door bargaining took place over the weekend but has crashed because Democrats wanted Trump to pay a much higher price for the wall funds, said Politico.
The Democrats would only agree to the wall funding if Trump agreed to citizenship for at least 1.8 million younger illegals, not just work permits for the 680,000 DACA enrollees.
Citizenship for the 1.8 million illegals would also mean citizenship for millions of their chain-migration relatives and would create a legal precedent to justify giving citizenship to all subsequent waves of children illegally brought into the United States by their illegal-immigrant parents. That Democratic counter-proposal would also have stripped Trump of the leverage to win other popular immigration reforms, including ending chain migration, ending the visa lottery, and closing legal loopholes in border security.
According to Politico:
Democrats balked, demanding instead that the White House provide a pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million young immigrants eligible under the DACA program, those sources said. The White House might have been open to negotiating further, but Democrats were only willing to entertain the massive wall funding figure in exchange for helping the same number of immigrants that Trump embraced in a proposal earlier this year.
The impasse shows how far apart each side is ahead of a Friday deadline to fund the government: This could be Trump’s best chance to get wall money, particularly if Democrats win back the House this fall. So the White House is willing to drop its insistence that any immigration deal include major cuts to legal immigration. In the administration‘s view, Democrats are being unreasonable in the face of Trump’s flexibility.
“We sent the minority leaders’ offices a proposal that is pretty fair,” said a White House official. “It seems like Democrats don’t want to take yes for an answer.”
The standoff means Trump’s best chance for wall-funding in 2018 is the passage of the pending 2018 omnibus bill.
A Senate committee and the House have approved $1.6 billion for wall construction in 2018, but Capitol Hill negotiators have not said if the pending omnibus bill includes the funding. The bill is due for approval this week, on March 23.