As children, we learned the art of negotiation early in life.
“You want me to quit crying? Change this diaper, fix me a bottle, and help me get these burps out, nigga.”
“I won’t tell Daddy about that white man I saw crawling out the window if you buy me a Sega Genesis.”
But while the rest of us outgrew our childish inclinations, our Adolescent-in-Chief has spent the past 29 days (and counting) holding our government hostage because he’s hell bent on building a $5.7 billion wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that nobody wants.
During that period of time, as many as 800,000 federal employees have gone unpaid, airport terminals have closed due to TSA agents skipping work to go stack their chips elsewhere, civil court cases have been suspended, prisoners have been denied visitors, and chaos has ensued throughout the country as our nation struggles to function in the absence of competent leadership.
That is—if you let the Trump Administration tell it—until today.
Because Donald John Trump, he of tiny G.I. Joe action figure hands and sharp cheddar-hue, will finally attempt to introduce our ridiculously inhumane government shutdown to its unceremonious end.
To offer Democrats protections for children of migrants who have entered the United States illegally, according to Vox.
On Saturday, in remarks billed as a “major announcement” on the border and the shutdown, Trump reportedly plans to propose a deal to Democrats. He’ll continue to insist that any bill to reopen the government include billions of dollars for a physical barrier on the US-Mexico border — a “wall” — but is now open to such a bill including other immigration provisions as well.
Most notably, he’s open to extending existing protections for the 700,000 or so immigrants currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who currently have legal status under Temporary Protected Status. The Trump administration has moved to sunset DACA, and to end protections for most of the immigrants covered under TPS. Both of those plans are currently held up in litigation.
“It’s clearly a non-serious product of negotiations amongst White House staff to try to clean up messes the president created in the first place,” said one Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s holding more people hostage for his wall.”
But unfortunately for President Dumb Ass, Democrats aren’t feeling his self-described “common-sense compromise”.
Democrats aren’t particularly interested in what Trump’s proposing. “Democrats were not consulted on this and have rejected similar overtures previously,” a Democratic aide told Vox. “It’s clearly a non-serious product of negotiations amongst White House staff to try to clean up messes the president created in the first place. POTUS is holding more people hostage for his wall.”
After weeks of all-or-nothing intransigence, Trump’s announcement Saturday indicates that the White House realizes they’re losing the shutdown in the eyes of most Americans, and are willing to compromise to reopen the government. But Democrats also know the White House is losing the shutdown, and the compromise now on offer is something they are unlikely to take.
So let’s breakdown the parameters of the proposed deal.
Trump has made it abundantly clear that he’s more than willing to directly jeopardize the livelihood and economy of millions of Americans in order to erect his wall, while Democrats have remained steadfast that they want to help both DACA and TPS recipients. However, Trump’s proposed offer isn’t the byproduct of negotiations with Democrats, it’s reportedly the result of discussions that’ve occurred between Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and congressional Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham.
And considering the lack of overwhelming enthusiasm from Democrats in the past to secure temporary extensions for both groups of immigrants, the proposed deal merely serves to prolong the status quo.
So theoretically, here’s how it would go down:
- The $5.7 billion in funding for his wall that he won’t stop throwing a tantrum over.
- Three years of temporary protections for DACA recipients under the BRIDGE Act. Which in theory, would provide Congress time to hammer out a permanent solution for DREAMers.
- Extension of protections for Temporary Protected Status holders, which grants recipients an official legal status, but prevents them from applying for citizenship or a green card.
So he still gets his wall while DACA and TPS recipients would still have no path to citizenship?
“First, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell must open the government today. Second, I cannot support the proposed offer as reported and do not believe it can pass the Senate. Third, I am ready to sit down at any time after the government is opened and work to resolve all outstanding issues,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who’s co-sponsoring the BRIDGE act, in a statement.
So it looks like the impasse will continue, unfortunately with no conclusion in sight.