Trump’s “Offer” is No Offer at All

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Harsh anti-immigrant proposal is not a serious effort at negotiation and only worsens harm for poor families, federal employees, immigrants & refugees

A protest against the Trump Administration’s family separation policy outside of Milwaukee’s ICE office in June 2018. Photo: Joe Brusky/MTEA, 6/21/18.

MILWAUKEE – Late Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell published the text of a bill that he says he will put forward for a vote in the Senate later this week. Instead of the restoration of DACA protections for immigrant youth and TPS protections for refugee families that Trump claimed he was offering on Saturday, the bill is full of further attacks on immigrant communities and poison pills that ensure it cannot pass the House or Senate. This is unsurprising, considering that no Democrats were involved in crafting the legislation. Among other things the bill would: 

  • Extend nonrenewable Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections for 3 years only for the 700,000 or so young people who currently have DACA thanks to a federal court injunction. The remaining 1.1 million people who were eligible for DACA before Trump ended the program in September 2017 would remain unprotected. DACA has provided work permits and protection from deportation to immigrant young people brought to the US at a young age.
  • Restore Temporary Protected Status (TPS) protections for people from only 4 of the 11 countries that Trump stripped protections from. TPS would be limited to people from Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. People from African and Asian countries would be excluded. TPS was intended to provide protection from deportation to people fleeing war or natural disaster in their home countries.
  • Central American children, including those who come with their parents, would be barred from applying for asylum at the border. Right now, a large percentage of the people seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border are Central American refugee families. 
  • Eliminates protections in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, allowing child refugees from Central America to be deported back to the violence they fled.

“This bill is not a good-faith attempt at negotiation,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “This legislation aims to use the crisis of the Trump-created government shutdown to advance Trump and Stephen Miller’s extremist, anti-immigrant agenda. Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans like Wisconsin’s Senator Ron Johnson must not reward Trump for holding millions of families hostage — immigrants, federal workers, and families now at risk of losing food assistance, medical care, and housing. Anyone in Congress who is enabling Trump’s agenda must be protested until they stand up to Trump and end the shutdown. Politicians unwilling to stand up to Trump and end the shutdown should resign or be voted out of office. Senator McConnell must allow an immediate vote on a bill to open the government, which would pass with a veto-proof majority. Then the House and Senate must pass the clean Dream Act with TPS protections, which would provide a path to citizenship for the Dreamers and refugee families that Trump has put at risk of deportation and separation from their families.”

Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman, sfreeman@vdlf.org, 414-469-9206

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