US President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he is willing to provide assistance to migrants in return for the US House of Representatives’ approval of $5.7bn funds to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.
Trump’s proposal included $800m in humanitarian aid and $805m for drug detection technology, in addition to funding 2,750 more border agents and law enforcement officials, and 75 new immigration judge teams.
In the deal outlined on Saturday, Trump offered temporary protected status (TPS), a temporary status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the United States, for 300,000 people and will allow a bill to give over 700,000 young immigrants, known as ‘Dreamers’, temporary legal status and work authorisation for three years if their protection gets revoked, in exchange for $5.7bn in funds for the border wall.
Trump sought from the proposal to shift pressure to Democrats and to end the government shutdown, but the Democrats insist on refusing to negotiate with Trump until the government reopens.
The proposal was sent to the Democrats on Saturday, but Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, rejected it, saying that she could not deliver his State of the Union address in the capitol until the shutdown was over.
The proposal was Trump’s first public offer to the Democrats since the partial shutdown began nearly a month ago. The shutdown took place because Trump appealed to his government to pay for building a wall between the US and Mexico, and therefore the US taxpayers will pay for it. He estimated that he would need $5.7bn to build a steel barrier across the border, but the appeal has not been well received by the Democrats, so the government has been forced to partially shutdown. This situation is likely to continue until a solution to building the wall can be found. This shutdown is the longest in the US history.