President Donald Trump on Friday blamed difficult immigration negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the “beating” the president said Schumer took over last weekend’s government shutdown.
“DACA has been made increasingly difficult by the fact that Cryin’ Chuck Schumer took such a beating over the shutdown that he is unable to act on immigration!” the president wrote on Twitter Friday as he flew aboard Air Force One en route from Switzerland, where he attended the annual World Economic Forum, to Washington. A spokesperson for Schumer did not immediately return a request for comment.
Negotiations over the status of Dreamers — undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — came to a head last Friday when Senate Democrats refused to vote for legislation to fund the government without accompanying Dreamer legislation, forcing a government shutdown. The government reopened Monday after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered an assurance on the Senate floor that the chamber would vote on Dreamer legislation.
Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said he offered the president significant funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a last-ditch offer last Friday, this week rejected an immigration offer from the White House that included $25 billion for a border wall, plus curtailed family-based immigration — referred to by Trump as chain migration — and an end to the diversity visa lottery program.
“This plan flies in the face of what most Americans believe,” Schumer wrote on Twitter of the president’s proposal Friday. “While @realDonaldTrump finally acknowledged that the Dreamers should be allowed to stay here and become citizens, he uses them as a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system and adopt the wish list that anti-immigration hardliners have advocated for for years.”
Trump’s proposal, which allows for a decade-plus long path to citizenship for Dreamers and certain other undocumented immigrants, could also face hurdles in the House, where the arch-conservative Freedom Caucus, which wields significant influence within the GOP caucus, has opposed proposals offer any appearance of amnesty for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.