Trump’s Refusal to Compromise Torpedoes Dreamer Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress agreed on the details of a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill today, which likely will pass and end the latest federal spending impasse ahead of a Friday deadline.

During negotiations, members of both parties raised the idea of a temporary extension of Dreamer protections in exchange for border wall funding. However, the bill filed includes $1.6 billion in border barrier funding without any solution, permanent or temporary, for hundreds of thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients or other Dreamers.

The omission comes after President Trump backtracked on his earlier openness to a proposal that would have provided three years of border wall funding in exchange for a three-year DACA extension. Many conservative groups, including the LIBRE Initiative, have urged the White House to support a deal of $25 billion in border wall funding in exchange for citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers.

Current DACA recipients are able to renew following a court ruling blocking the Trump administration’s termination of the program. However, new applications are not being processed, and current recipients remain in limbo without a permanent solution, as the courts could still terminate the ability to file for renewals.

“We applaud congressional leadership’s continued efforts to negotiate a deal that secures something the vast majority of Americans support — protection for Dreamers,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “However, it’s extremely disappointing to see President Trump ignore opportunities to reach bipartisan compromise.

“As we have seen, there is legislative support for both protecting the border and protecting Dreamers. This bill gave President Trump the opportunity to deliver on both, and his refusal to deliver on his promises betrays both the Dreamers he’s left in limbo and the Americans he took an oath to represent. To put it another way, Trump had two birds in hand, and now he’s got nothing.”

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