Hawaii politicians, groups react to President Trump's shutdown proposal
HONOLULU - President Donald Trump on Saturday offered a compromise to end the government shutdown. He told Democrats he'd give temporary protections for young undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border.
Extending temporary protections for so-called "Dreamers" and those with Temporary Protected Status are key issues for congressional Democrats, who still refused the President's demand for wall funding.
The President also said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would bring the proposal to a vote in the Senate this week. The proposal is Mr. Trump's first public offer to Democrats since the partial shutdown began nearly a month ago. Tuesday is the deadline for the government to reopen in time to prevent federal employees from going a second consecutive pay period without a check.
In Hawaii, local politicians and groups react:
State Rep. Bob McDermott (D- 40) says, "Now it's in Pelosi's court, because he's made this big proposal and includes the DACA kids. About one million people are going to be directly impacted by his proposal today."
Hawaii Republican Party Chair Shirlene Ostrov says, "The most important job a president has is to protect Americans. President Trump is steadfast in his strong commitment to our safety. While Democrats continue to play petty partisan games with our security, drug dealers, human traffickers and enemies of this country flaunt our sovereign border. The games have to end and Democrats need to work with President Trump to make America a more secure nation. This is non-negotiable.
?The President's approach to border security is effective - walls and physical barriers are proven to significantly boost border security and deter illegal immigration. In each of our four CBP sectors where physical barriers have been improved or expanded (i.e. El Paso, Yuma, Tucson, and San Diego) illegal traffic has dropped by at least 90%. Let's find a solution."
Democratic Party of Hawaii chair Kealii Lopez says, "Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposal is a publicity stunt at a time when we need real solutions. This deal is full of suggestions that he knows have already been rejected and cannot garner the necessary votes. Our residents here in Hawaii and abroad are feeling the very real impacts of this shutdown.
With the largest share of federal jobs in the country, Hawaii is among the top three states most impacted by Trump’s shutdown. The Democratic Party of Hawaii is calling on the President to come forward with a real comprise and serious proposals to re-open government and restore certainty for our workers. He is being irresponsible with the livelihood of thousands of government employees, and the safety of the entire country."
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) released the following statement: “We need to open the government first. We can negotiate a proposal on border security and immigration later, but risking the health and safety of Americans, hurting the economy, and delivering pain to families can never be the start of a fruitful negotiation.”
Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) issued this statement: “This is yet another bogus offer from a president who changes his mind on a whim and can’t be trusted. Instead of succumbing to the president’s strategy of negotiating through hostage taking, Mitch McConnell should bring the House passed bills to the floor of the Senate for a vote and end this shutdown.”
The ACLU of Hawaii issued a statement from Executive Director Joshua Wisch reading, “Hawaii is home to tens of thousands of federal workers. We’re also home to refugees and DACA recipients. In his statement today, the President is using their lives as poker chips in his bid to secure billions for a wall that doesn’t stand the independent scrutiny of Congress or the American people.
The courts have already provided a temporary fix for DACA by preventing President Trump’s bid to start deporting Dreamers. People in Hawaii and nationwide demand a permanent solution – which today’s proposal utterly fails to provide. Tying the reopening of government to a policy proposal – from either party – is a perversion of our constitutional system and should not be encouraged. The President is holding all of us hostage for a $5.7 billion ransom.
This administration must stop using Dreamers, refugees, and federal workers as game pieces. This longest ever – and increasingly dangerous – government shutdown should end now. There is a crisis at the border, but it’s the one the President created by separating thousands of families, caging children, and lying about the extent of it all. Keeping over 800,000 working Americans from getting paid – including thousands of Hawaii families – won’t fix that.”