It is the Trump administration that attempted to end the DACA program and is now fighting in the courts (unsuccessfully) to have it declared unconstitutional. It is also the Trump administration that announced that it would suspend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for many immigrants who came to this country as refugees from war or national disasters. On Saturday, the president suggested that giving temporary relief to immigrants affected by his own actions was some kind of gift to Democrats in exchange for funding his wall. That isn’t how compromise works.
Let me see if I have the state of play.
1) Do Damage.
2) Give me everything I want
3) Promise to undo some of the damage.
The art of the deal.
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) January 19, 2019
Imagine if a dude drove his truck into your house on purpose and then told you he’d fix the hole for $5 billion.
What would you say? Like imagine what your exact words would be.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 19, 2019
But the truth is that the president’s offer is even worse than that. As has been this administration’s pattern in the past, part of the so-called “compromise” included changes to the asylum process for children that would make it easier to deport them.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to bring up legislation that includes Trump’s proposal as a means to end the government shutdown. Monday night the actual language on that bill was released and apparently it is loaded with poison pills. Here are a few that have been noted so far:
- Temporary protection for those who have TPS would be limited to people from Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. All those from African and Asian countries would be excluded.
- Central American minors (including those who come with their parents) would be barred from asylum unless they applied in their home country.
- It eliminates protections in the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, allowing unaccompanied children from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America to be returned against their will without regard to whether they will be victimized or persecuted.
The true humanitarian crisis on our southern border is the way these child refugees have been treated by this administration.
- They have been separated from their parents.
- They have been placed in what amounts to jails indefinitely.
- The teenagers among them have been accused of being violent gang members.
- They have been accused of being pawns for adults seeking illegal entry into the U.S.
- They have been used to arrest people who have come forward to house them.
Now, as part of this so-called “compromise” the Trump administration—with McConnell’s blessing—wants to basically eliminate the ability of these children to apply for asylum, along with laws that protect them from trafficking, in order to summarily deport them.
It has been clear for a while now that Donald Trump and his enablers don’t know the meaning of the word “compromise.” This offer, which amounts to nothing, proves that. Not only does it fail to offer any real relief to this administration’s attacks on refugees, it has been loaded with poison pills to further abuse them.