President Trump may have built a career negotiating deals in real estate and in his businesses, but political deal-making is a whole different animal. Entering the third year of his presidency, Trump’s learning that a good deal can still be rejected for little to no real reason at all.
Case in point: The federal government shutdown.
Trump wants $5.7 billion for the construction of a new border wall to help protect Americans from what the U.S. Customs and Border Protection calls a humanitarian and border security crisis.
Democrats have opposed him at every turn so on Saturday afternoon, Trump offered them a major deal: Wall funding for temporary DACA protections.
From the Washington Examiner:
President Trump offered a deal to Democrats Saturday that includes extensions of protections for recipients of the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs in return for $5.7 billion for an additional barrier at the southern border.
Trump reiterated he still wants $5.7 billion for a physical barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he said it would be a “strategic deployment” of resources, “not a 2,000 mile concrete structure from sea to sea.”
As part of his “negotiation,” he said he will give legal status, different from a pathway to citizenship, to DACA recipients, as well as continued protections for those in the U.S. under TPS. DACA recipients were brought to the country illegally as children, while people with TPS status are from certain countries that have been affected by conflict or natural disasters.
In his address, Trump argued the funds will go towards construction of a physical barrier in areas which border agents say there is an “urgently need.”
“Much of the border is already protected by natural barriers, such as mountains and water. We already have many miles of barrier including 115 miles that we are currently building or under contract,” Trump said as the Washington Examiner reports. “Our request will add another 230 miles this year in the areas our border agents most urgently need.”
So, here’s the deal:
“Number one is three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients brought here unlawfully by their parents at a young age many years ago. This extension will give them access to work permits, social security numbers, and protection from deportation, most importantly,” Trump offered Democrat lawmakers.
“Secondly, our proposal provides a three-year extension of Temporary Protected Status or TPS. This means that 300,000 immigrants whose protected status is facing expiration will now have three more years of certainty so that Congress can work on a larger immigration deal, which everybody wants, Republicans and Democrats.”
As Fox News reports, the $5.7 billion that Trump is requesting will be enough to fund approximately 215 miles of the border wall along “most critical locations”:
According to DHS officials, the funding would cover the construction of 215 miles of “wall system” on the southern border.
DHS officials said that of the 215 “linear miles,” well over a hundred miles would be brand new wall in places where there is no barrier now. The majority of this construction would be in the Rio Grande area, specifically the Laredo sector, along the Texas border with Mexico.
DHS officials said those 215 miles would be the most “critical” locations that need to be addressed. The total cost of a wall could be upwards of $25 billion – additional funding in the future could go toward other locations.
Democratic lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have already rejected the compromise.