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Trump Gives Major Announcement About Immigration

At 4 PM ET, Trump made an announcement about immigration and border security in the White House.

CNN and CBS shared that Trump has an offer prepared that the White House hopes will bring Democrats to the negotiating table. Referencing an unnamed administration official, the reports suggest that the offer will include several major concessions to Democrats on immigration — but absolutely no compromise on the border wall.

Jonathan Swan from Axios reports that in the deal for his wall, Trump will possibly safeguard the DREAMers by offering to temporarily shield them from deportation and give them three-year work permits through DACA. These measures, which are currently part of the BRIDGE Act, are included in the legislation that the President will support, also extending the legal status of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. All three sources state that Vice President Mike Pence and Jared Kushner were behind the current iterations of a possible deal on both the government shutdown and the border wall.

What The Plan Consists Of (Courtesy of Vox)

  • $5.7 billion in funding for a physical barrier on the US/Mexico border. Trump’s not budging on this. The White House has already “conceded” that the barrier will be made of steel poles — which is what experts and border agents wanted anyway — rather than solid concrete. Per a letter sent earlier this month, the administration could build 243 miles of barriers with the $5.7 billion it’s requesting, most of which would be built in the Rio Grande Valley.’
  • The BRIDGE Act: Three years of temporary protections for DACA recipients. On DACA, Trump is embracing Graham’s BRIDGE Act,which would extend DACA recipients’ existing deportation protections and work permits for three more years. In theory, Congress would use that time to work out a permanent solution for DREAMers; but the last time the White House tried that, by giving Congress six months to address DACA before sunsetting it entirely, the gambit did not succeed. During that debate in late 2017 and early 2018, many Republicans gravitated toward bills that would offer DREAMers access to permanent legal status and ultimately to citizenship — more moderate than what Trump is offering now.
  • A three-year extension of protections for TPS holders. Trump is also offering to extend (also for three years) the legal protections that hundreds of thousands of immigrants have under the Temporary Protected Status program — which is supposed to allow people to stay in the US while their countries recover from war or natural disasters, but which, over the years, has allowed many people to stay and put down roots in the US. TPS, unlike DACA, grants official legal status, but it doesn’t offer any way to apply for a green card or citizenship. Trump’s efforts to end TPS for most countries are held up in a different court fight — so this proposal, like the DACA proposal, would essentially be a legislative extension of the current judicially-imposed status quo.
  • $800 million to improve care for children and families at the border — with millions more for enforcement. The rest of Trump’s proposal is a modified version of what the White House originally floated to Democrats in negotiations two weeks ago, codified in a letter sent by the Office of Management and Budget. Those demands include $800 million to deal with the actually-urgent humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico border — the fact that unprecedented numbers of children and families are coming to the US (often to seek asylum) and border agents aren’t equipped to deal with them. Trump’s also demanding 2,750 more border agents and other law enforcement officials; millions of dollars in screening technology to detect drugs at ports of entry; and the hiring of 75 new immigration judges to address the immigration-court backlog, which is currently the biggest barrier to deporting people quickly (and which the current shutdown has exacerbated).
  • Modest changes to asylum for Central American children and teenagers. The Trump administration is floating allowing Central American children and teenagers to apply for asylum in their home countries — a modification of an Obama-administration program Trump ended in 2017. In return, they want to change current law to eliminate automatic court hearings for children and teens who come to the US from Central America and other countries — making it much easier to summarily deport them.

Rewatch CBSN’s coverage of Trump’s speech below, and follow live updates of reaction to Trump’s speech.

This post will be updated when new information is available.

 

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