This afternoon President Trump offered his deal to Democrats to end the government shutdown--and it was promptly rejected by Democrats.
Trump’s deal would extend protection to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and thousands of Central American and African migrants living in America on Temporary Protected Status in exchange for $5.7 billion for the wall.
That is of course a terrible deal for Trump’s base as the president doesn’t even receive half of the necessary funding for the wall. This contrasts with the DACA deal offered last year where Trump would get full funding for the wall in exchange for the legalization of DACA recipients. The current deal adds protections for thousands of TPS holders and requests far less money for the wall.
No wonder Ann Coulter is livid.
But there’s a possible upside. Trump knew Democrats would reject this deal and he offered it to expose their immigration extremism and provide pretext for him to declare a national emergency on the border.
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have made it clear they don’t want this deal. “Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people's lives,” Pelosi said in a statement prior to Trump’s Saturday announcement.
“[Trump] he keeps putting forward one-sided and ineffective remedies. There’s only way out: open up the government, Mr. President, and then Democrats and Republicans can have a civil discussion and come up with bipartisan solutions,” Schumer responded to Trump’s offer. [Democrats shoot down Trump's plan to end shutdown, by Michael Collins and Christal Hayes, USA Today, January 19, 2019]
Democrats are listening to their base that wants open borders and no concessions to Trump. To give Trump even $5 billion for the wall would outrage Democrat voters, even if it comes with DACA legalization and TPS extensions. Democrats would rather campaign on DACA and TPS in 2020 than to make a deal on those issues with Trump. They see any kind of deal with Trump that is not straight capitulation as a loss.
At the same time, Democrats show how far-left they’ve become on immigration and lend more support for Trump’s national emergency declaration. If Democrats won’t accept this deal, what choice does the President have?
This dilemma persuades more Americans to support Trump’s taking that necessary step toward appropriating Pentagon funds for the wall. It’s his only option at this point, and the offer should be seen in this light.
This is not the first time Trump has offered a bad deal to Democrats knowing it would be rejected. The President’s DACA offer last year—where he proposed permanent legalization for nearly two million illegal aliens in exchange for wall funding and patriotic immigration reforms--was made in the same spirit of strengthening his position and exposing Democratic extremism.
Immigration patriots should not be happy with this offer, but they should rest assured it has little chance of passage. This offer likely needed to be announced to pave the way for a national emergency.