Tuesday February 19, 2019
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Democrats Stand Firm Against Donald Trump’s Exchange Offer

Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner said Democrats should not "reward the kind of behaviour of hostage-taking"

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Americans Losing faith in government. VOA

Despite President Donald Trump’s offer to end the ongoing partial government shutdown and fund a border wall in exchange for temporary protections for groups of immigrants, Democrats stood by their demand to reopen the government before negotiating about the border.

“Let’s not hold the American people, especially the federal workers, hostage to these negotiations,” South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, a member of Democratic leadership, told Fox News on Sunday.

“And hopefully we will open with what he has put on the table, and let’s go back and forth on this and see where we can find common ground.”

The Democratic rejection came as Vice President Mike Pence made clear on Sunday that the Republicans intended to go forward with the plan the President outlined on Saturday during a 13-minute televised speech from the White House, CNN reported.

Trump has suggested extending protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme recipients for three years and a three-year extension of protections for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.

The shutdown that began on December 22, has left roughly a quarter of the government closed and forcing 800,000 federal employees furloughed or work without pay.

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Trump presses Democrats on border wall funding ahead of Senate meeting. VOA

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected it even before Trump spoke. On Sunday, the President took to Twitter to slam Pelosi for rejecting his deal.

“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday (Saturday) before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime and drugs, they only see 2020 – which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the country and allow people to go back to work.

“No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a three year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy,” he said in a series of tweets.

Some other Democrat leaders have also slammed the President’s offer.

Also Read- Actress Manisha Koirala Hopes to Write More Books in Future

New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who entered the 2020 race just days ago, told CNN on Sunday that Trump’s offer of only temporary protection from deportation showed he “has no empathy” for people affected by the decision.

Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner said Democrats should not “reward the kind of behaviour of hostage-taking”.

Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, meanwhile, told CNN that “both sides” were responsible for the ongoing impasse and called for genuine negotiations. (IANS)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Calls On California For Challenging Border Wall Declaration

"President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. "He knows there is no border crisis. He knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court."

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President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump targeted the western U.S. state of California Tuesday for its leading role in a multi-state lawsuit contesting his declaration of a national emergency to obtain funding for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Twitter, Trump cited California Governor Gavin Newsome’s cancellation last week of a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, claiming, without evidence, the cancellation was due to “world record setting” cost overruns.

Trump followed with another tweet after 16 states sued his administration over his declaration of a national emergency to get funds to build a border wall. Attorneys general, led by California, filed their lawsuit late Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The complaint alleges the emergency declaration is illegal and unconstitutional, and that it harms the states and their residents by taking money away from anti-drug programs, military construction projects and other law enforcement efforts.

FILE - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (R), accompanied by Gov. Gavin Newsom, announce their intent to sue the Trump administration over an emergency declaration to fund a border wall, Feb. 15, 2019, in Sacramento, California.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (R), accompanied by Gov. Gavin Newsom, announce their intent to sue the Trump administration over an emergency declaration to fund a border wall, Feb. 15, 2019, in Sacramento, California. VOA
 

The lawsuit asks the court to permanently prohibit the Trump administration from diverting funds from elsewhere in the government to construct a border wall, or to build a wall without Congress appropriating money for that purpose.

“President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “He knows there is no border crisis. He knows his emergency declaration is unwarranted, and he admits that he will likely lose this case in court.”

Becerra accused Trump of engaging in “theater” and hyping a crisis because he failed to get Congress or Mexico to pay for the wall.

An environmental group and three Texas landowners across whose property the wall would be built have already filed lawsuits.

The White House has not yet responded to the states’ lawsuit. But it had anticipated court challenges to the emergency declaration.

Trump said he declared the national emergency because he was unhappy with the amount of money Congress authorized for border security.

“I want to do it faster,” he said when he announced his declaration last week. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster” — words that could come back to haunt the administration in court.

Journalist Bob Woodward, who chronicled the first year of the Trump presidency in his best-selling book “Fear,” told Fox News he believes Trump made the national emergency declaration because “he looks strong. He looks tough to lots of people.”

FILE - A new barrier is built along the Texas-Mexico border near downtown El Paso, Jan. 22, 2019.
A new barrier is built along the Texas-Mexico border near downtown El Paso, Jan. 22, 2019. VOA
 

Trump centered much of his 2016 presidential campaign on a vow to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. After he was elected, he said he never meant that Mexico would write a check for a wall, but that the money would come from the benefits from a new North American trade deal.

Also Read: Bernie Sanders Joins 2020 Presidential Election’s Marathon

Mexican leaders have said under no circumstances would they pay for a border wall. Trump has since shifted the focus on winning congressional funding. (VOA)