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Democrats rip Trump’s immigration proposal

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) attends a news conference on November 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

Democrats in the US Congress have denounced the immigration proposal unveiled by the administration of President Donald Trump, with Senator Elizabeth Warren calling it “insulting.”

“By ending DACA, @realdonaldtrump subjected 800k Dreamers to deportation. Now he wants to hold them hostage to Steven [Stephen] Miller’s anti-immigrant wish list. It’s insulting,” Warren wrote on Twitter on Thursday night. “We already have a bipartisan solution to the Trump-created crisis: it’s called the Dream Act. #DreamActNow”

Earlier in the day, the White House unveiled details of the immigration plan that would allow 1.8 million people to become US citizens in exchange for funding of a border wall.

The 1.8 million immigrants are those who are covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and those people who are eligible for DACA but did not apply.
In exchange, Trump will seek $25 billion in funding for his wall on the US-Mexico border. 

The proposed bill will be unveiled on Monday. The White House wants the Senate to draft legislation based on the plan and present it earlier next month, days before government funding is set to expire.

“This truly represents a bipartisan compromise position,” said one official, speaking on condition anonymity. “We have no doubt that if this legislation were brought to the floor, it would easily garner 60 votes.”

White House policy chief Stephen Miller

White House policy chief Stephen Miller reportedly described the plan as a "dramatic concession” by Republicans to Democrats, who last week caused the government shutdown over the status of “Dreamers.”

Dreamers are hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants brought into America as children who were protected from deportation until September 2017, when the Trump administration ended the DACA program, which was created by former US President Barack Obama.

Several Democrats rejected the immigration framework from Trump as a nonstarter on Capitol Hill.

Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) described the White House proposal as a "ransom" that "doesn't pass the laugh test."  

"It would be far cheaper to erect a 50-foot concrete statue of a middle finger and point it towards Latin America. Both a wall and the statue would be equally offensive and equally ineffective and both would express Trump’s deeply held suspicion of Latinos," he tweeted on Thursday night.

Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, stated that the proposal is "shameful" and accused the White House of using the DACA program as a "bargaining chip."

"President Trump is not just trying to shake down Congressional Democrats; he is trying to shake down the American people," she said.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said the plan puts a "hardline immigration agenda ... on the backs of these young people."

"Dreamers should not be held hostage to President Trump’s crusade to tear families apart and waste billions of American tax dollars on an ineffective wall," he said.  

Democrats had insisted on including in any spending bill protections for those immigrants covered under the DACA program.

Trump has warned that there will be no deal to help young undocumented immigrants unless Democrats agree to fund his long-promised wall on the border with Mexico.
Obama created the DACA program in 2012 to enable some young undocumented immigrants in the country to obtain two-year permits to stay legally, work and attend school.
Trump has described Obama’s actions as unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power.

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