In a somewhat combative interview Sunday morning, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace repeatedly pressed Vice President Mike Pence on the Trump administration’s refusal to end the government shutdown before negotiating with lawmakers on border security.
When Wallace challenged President Trump’s new ‘compromise’ from the right, Pence all but admitted there’s basically nothing new on the table.
Wallace noted that anti-immigration hardliners like Ann Coulter had attacked the president’s proposal Saturday for offering “amnesty” to some immigrant groups, including “Dreamers” — people who were brought to the U.S. as children who’d previously been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — and those with Temporary Protective Status (TPS).
Pence responded by reassuring such conservative detractors that what was added to the new proposal was quite the nothingburger, downplaying both the number of immigrants impacted and the significance of the offer.
“The president has said we will support temporary relief for three years for DACA recipients and those who are in temporary protected status,” Pence explained.
“This is not amnesty; there’s no pathway to citizenship. There’s no permanent status here at all, which is what ‘amnesty’ contemplates. What this is, is a good faith effort to address the issue, bring relief to DACA recipients.”
The only reason DACA recipients need relief is because Trump himself ended DACA a year and a half ago, throwing the fate of some 800,000 Dreamers into limbo. Offering to give them a meager three years of protection after previously abandoning them entirely is hardly praise-worthy.
And that’s exactly why Democratic lawmakers rejected the deal before Trump even had the opportunity to make his Saturday afternoon speech. Calling the proposal a “non-starter,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pointed out that it “does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”
Pence may have thought he was shoring up his base, but in doing so he was basically admitting that Democrats were correct about how little was added to the negotiations.
Moreover, it shines all the more light on the way Trump is holding thousands of workers hostage by refusing to end the shutdown until he gets his way.