President Trump’s new deal unveiled Saturday to extend DACA protections in exchange for border security was swiftly rejected by Democrats and has received mixed reactions from Christian leaders.
The proposal outlined by the president at the White House — just minutes after he held a Naturalization Ceremony in the Oval Office for five new American citizens and their families — includes a three-year extension of former President Obama’s temporary DACA protections for current recipients. DACA extensions would cover 700,000 people who are now 38 years old and younger who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were teenagers or young children. They would receive a Social Security numbers, work permits, and be protected from deportation.
Similarly, Trump’s proposal would extend Temporary Protected Status to 300,000 immigrants whose protected status is set to expire.
Trump did not relent on his request for $5.7 billion from Congress for a steel slat barrier between portions of the U.S. and Mexico, emphasizing that it would “not a 2,000 mile concrete structure from sea to sea.”
“Much of the border is already protected by natural barriers, such as mountains and water. We already have many miles of barrier including 115 miles that we are building or under contract,” he said. “Our request will add another 230 miles this year in the areas our border agents most urgently need.”
The plan, which Trump said Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would take to the Senate for vote next week would need 60 votes to pass, meaning Republicans need the support of seven Democrats to pass the measure.
“With bipartisan cooperation, the Senate can send a bill to the House quickly so that they can take action as well,” McConnell said in a statement after Trump’s announcement. “The situation for furloughed employees isn’t getting any brighter and the crisis at the border isn’t improved by show votes. But the president’s plan is a path toward addressing both issues quickly.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., however, has signaled that he’s unwilling to compromise and plans to block the bill, despite having supported border barriers under past administrations.
“Offering some protections back in exchange for the wall is not a compromise but more hostage taking,” Schumer said in a statement Saturday.
As politicians continue to debate issues of border security, on Friday Border Patrol agents apprehended over 400 illegal immigrants in Yuma, Arizona, who were burrowing under a border fence. Most were from Guatemala, said National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, who was in contact with a Border Patrol agent involved in the incident in Yuma. “It’s the largest [single group] I’ve ever heard of [entering the U.S.],” said Judd, according to Fox News’ affiliate in San Diego, California.
Highlighting the dangerous trek economic migrants make in an attempt to enter the U.S. illegally, Trump cited in his speech a 2017 report released by the humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders, which said that more than 30 percent of women are sexually assaulted.
Information released by the White House added: “The number of families and unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally has grown dramatically in recent months. This past December, Border Patrol apprehended 32,284 families and unaccompanied children. Just six months prior, Border Patrol apprehended only 13,164 families and unaccompanied children.”
In response to Trump’s plan, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who’s among the administration’s evangelical advisers, said he wants a “permanent DACA solution for a permanent wall.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Melissa Barnhart