Mike Pence: 'This is not amnesty'

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence talk as they walk down the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the White House complex on Saturday Jan. 5 2019

Trump Officials Say ‘Rank-and-File’ Democrats Give Hope for President’s Deal Alex Brandon AP19 Jan 2019Washington DC

Still, in the eyes of many White House officials, the prospect that Trump could use the proposal to shift blame for the shutdown and pressure Democrats to end the impasse was worth trying.

"After causing the longest government shutdown in history, Trump has come to the table with a new "deal" - temporary protections for DACA recipients in exchange for his $5.7 billion dollar wall".

Trump embraced the shutdown in December in large part because of angry warnings from his most ardent supporters that he was passing up on his last, best shot to build the wall before Democrat took control of the House in the new year.

"I hope once people get past their initial statements, initial reaction, they will really look at the legislation that comes to the floor and see what it is - a honest effort by the president of the United States to take ideas from both political parties", Pence said of lawmakers. "For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports", the California Democrat added.

Mr. Pence brushed aside those complaints, saying he thought they'd been written "before the speech was made", and he urged Democrats to take a new look at what Mr. Trump laid out. What is good in the proposal is not original.

The president also called for $800 million in "urgent humanitarian assistance" and $805 million for drug detection technology to help secure USA ports of entry. But while Trump cast the Saturday move as a "common-sense compromise", Democrats were quick to dismiss it at a "non-starter. The Senate should also pass those bills and the President should sign them in order to re-open the government and allow for robust negotiations on border security and immigration policies". It's taking a different approach now. And the Kentucky Republican has said for weeks that he has no interest in "show votes" aimed only at forcing members to take sides after Trump rejected the Senate's earlier bipartisan bill to avert the shutdown. The President can and should re-open the government immediately. That, he said, would be more effective than "a monument". "Unfortunately, he keeps putting forward one-sided and ineffective remedies". Mulvaney added that the onus is now on Democrats to accept the president's plan.

The Trump administration had moved to end an Obama-era initiative known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects some immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children from being deported.

Trump's reference to amnesty in the tweet could create confusion and is unlikely to help the president get his plan through Congress.

"While we commend the spirit of the president's latest effort to end the government shutdown, we at the NHCLC must continue to insist upon a permanent DACA solution for a permanent wall".

And Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the US Senate, noted that Trump himself had scrapped previously existing protection for the immigrants whom he is now offering to shield. "This kind of amnesty deal will incentivize more caravans, more illegal border crossers and more visa overstayers at the expense of the most vulnerable American workers who have to compete with the illegal labor force", Beck said. Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been adamant that they do not want to give Trump any funding for a wall along the southern border. Second, I cannot support the proposed offer as reported and do not believe it can pass the Senate.

"This week", he continued, "we received proof the administration planned months in advance to separate thousands of children from their parents and jail them as a deterrence to stop immigrants from seeking refuge in the U.S. Children have died while in U.S. custody; some have been tear-gassed by U.S. border agents; asylum seekers are being denied access to the legal system to apply".

The Democratic rejection came as Vice President Mike Pence made clear the GOP meant to go forward with the plan the President outlined, positions that combined to show little tangible progress toward ending the longest government shutdown on record.

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