Saturday, 7 Dec 2019

Trump makes offer to Democrats in bid to secure border wall and end govt shutdown

The US president stuck to his demand for $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to fund his proposed wall on the US-Mexico border wall before fully reopening government – an ultimatum opposed by the Democrats.

But he said he would extend protection for “dreamer” immigrants – who entered the US illegally when they were young with their parents – for another three years, allowing them access to work permits.

There are about 700,000 “dreamers” who are currently protected from deportation under a programme that allows them to work but not get citizenship – a programme Mr Trump has been trying to rescind.

Speaking from the White House, the president said he wanted to “break the logjam” and he was offering a “common sense compromise both parties should embrace”.

He is also offering to extend protections for immigrants who came to the US. as a result of war or natural disasters in their home countries.

Mr Trump said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring the proposal for a vote in the Senate this week.

But ahead of Mr Trump’s speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president’s proposal was “unacceptable”.

She said the plan does not “represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives” and is unlikely to pass either the House or Senate.

The shutdown, now in its fifth week, is the longest in US history and has left 800,000 federal workers unpaid.

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