President Trump fired off a Tuesday night tweet to “Cryin'” Chuck Schumer (D) letting let the New York Senate Minority Leader know that without funding for the wall – one of the president’s cornerstone campaign promises, there would be no compromise on legislation to help so-called Dreamers, something we expected when we reported that Schumer was pulling his border wall funding “offer” on Tuesday.
Schumer had offered and then withdrawn a deal which would secure funding for the wall in exchange for an agreement over immigration. Schumer’s office confirmed on Tuesday that the offer – initially made last Friday during negotiations over the shutdown – had been withdrawn on Sunday.
“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!” Trump tweeted.
Trump was of course referring to the Obama-era “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program which offers federal protection to illegal immigrants brought into the United States as children. While running for president, Trump said that he would repeal DACA on “day one” of his presidency. Nearly six months later on June 16, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would repeal the program, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirming the repeal in early September.
Congressional Democrats attempted to strongarm a DACA compromise out of GOP leaders last weekend, threatening to allow a government shutdown if no deal was reached. Republicans called their bluff, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer caved after three days with a stopgap funding bill that would keep the lights on in DC until February 8 following a commitment from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to resume immigration talks in February.
As we noted on Monday, Democratic Senators with 2020 presidential aspirations naturally came out against the agreement.
“The Majority Leader’s comments last night fell far short of the ironclad guarantee I needed to support a stopgap spending bill,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) “I refuse to put the lives of nearly 700,000 young people in the hands of someone who has repeatedly gone back on his word. I will do everything in my power to continue to protect Dreamers from deportation.”
Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand – some of the most vocal members of the Trump “resistance” – all voted against closing debate over DACA.
Earlier this month, House Judiciary Committee member Louie Gohmert (R-TX) wrote a scorching op-ed warning that if Trump betrays his base and works with Republicans to pass a “DACA amnesty” bill without first “securing the border and building a wall where it is needed,” Republicans will get slaughtered in the 2018 midterm elections less than ten months away – with Nancy Pelosi reclaiming her seat as Speaker of the House.
Trump, meanwhile, has said no DACA without a wall. “It’s gotta include the wall,” said the US President at a press conference in early January with Norway’s prime minister. “Any solution has to include the wall, adding “We need the wall for security, we need the wall for safety, we need the wall for stopping the drugs from pouring in.”