- Democrats this weekend roundly rejected President Donald Trump’s offer to extend protections for Dreamers in exchange for funding for his border wall.
- Potential presidential candidates including Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders accused the president of using Dreamers as bargaining chips and urged him to end the government shutdown.
- Trump forced a government shutdown five weeks ago over funding for a border wall.
President Trump’s latest offer to end the shutdown wasn’t received well by Democratic politicians who are eyeing a 2020 White House bid.
Democrats this weekend roundly rejected Trump’s proposal, which would extend protection for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, known as Dreamers, in exchange for funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump forced a government shutdown in late December to pressure Congress into approving the wall funding.
Although the White House touted Trump’s offer as a compromise, many Democrats accused him of using Dreamers as political pawns, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put it.
“Offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking,” Schumer said on Saturday. “There’s only way out: open up the government, Mr. President, and then Democrats and Republicans can have a civil discussion and come up with bipartisan solutions.”
Immigration is sure to be one of the most pivotal issues in the 2020 election, and several Democrats who have expressed interest in a presidential bid offered their opinions of Trump’s attempt at a deal.
Here’s what the Democrats had to say:
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
Kirsten Gillibrand says Trump "has no compassion" or "empathy for the struggles and the hardships that he's placing on people, whether it's the government workers who aren't getting paid or the Dreamers who are contributing to our country in amazing ways" https://t.co/gt6aqVGJT8 pic.twitter.com/UQ7q8Bbx8h
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 20, 2019
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren:
Federal workers are not bargaining chips. @realDonaldTrump and @SenateMajLdr McConnell must end this shutdown and re-open the government immediately.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 19, 2019
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro:
There will be no deal that allows this administration to keep holding Dreamers, TPS recipients or any other immigrants hostage again and again to build a wall that the vast majority of Americans don’t want because they know it won’t be effective and it sells our country short.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 19, 2019
California Sen. Kamala Harris:
DACA recipients and federal workers are not bargaining chips. It's time to reopen the government.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 19, 2019
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker:
Federal workers and Dreamers are not pawns. The President and @senatemajldr need to stop playing games with people's lives and re-open the government now. https://t.co/YkELYFvLt6
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 20, 2019
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown:
What @POTUS didn’t talk abt are workers he has forced to miss shifts or work w/o pay by shutting down the govt—including border agents. POTUS needs to reopen the govt & give workers back their paychecks today, & then we can work together to fix our broken immigration system. -SB
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) January 19, 2019
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Mr. President. Stop holding federal employees hostage and stop holding the young people in DACA hostage. End the federal shutdown and reinstate legal status for these young Americans. #NoWall
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 20, 2019
Meanwhile, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard blamed both the White House and Democrats for refusing to compromise on a deal:
Democratic presidential hopeful Hawaii Rep. @TulsiGabbard says the negotiations to end the current shutdown “shouldn’t be done on television”: “Both sides have completely hardened their positions and are unwilling to come together to work out the differences.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/4gM9EKUHzh
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 20, 2019