SEATTLE, Wash. – – A Dreamer living in Seattle and a Washington State Congressman are responding to President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the government shutdown, which includes some protections for undocumented immigrants and money for the border wall.
“He’s offering an extension of DACA protections and TPS when he’s the one that ended both of those programs, even though DACAs still running thanks to the courts. So really, he’s trying to use the pain that he inflicted on our immigrant community to try to get this border wall funding. We don’t think that’s the way he should be governing. We should reopen the government and then negotiate an actual immigration deal,” said Paul Quinonez, a Dreamer and an activist with the Washington Dream Coalition.
Washington State Congressman Adam Smith weighed in on the proposal and released this statement:
"The President's address to the nation failed to express even the slightest concern or support for the hundreds of thousands of Americans across our country who are living without paychecks because of this needless shutdown. It is wrong that the President and Congressional Republicans continue to hold workers and their families hostage. The President can and should re-open the government immediately. Democrats are always open to a fact-based discussion on the issues of border security and immigration reform, but the President’s remarks did nothing to advance that discussion."
Immigrant youth from Seattle-based group OneAmerica also released a statement:
"After causing the longest government shutdown in history, Trump has come to the table with a new 'deal' - temporary protections for DACA recipients in exchange for his $5.7 billion dollar wall.
Immigrant youth at OneAmerica's Youth Summit reacted strongly against being used as bargaining chips for an unpopular, expensive, ineffective and racist border wall. "They want us to give up a part of ourselves to gain temporary aid," explained Monica, OneAmerica youth leader from Federal Way. "This wall is nothing but Trump trying to prove that he isn't a lair in terms of his campaign promises. We see through him."
Demanding permanent protections for DACA and TPS, and no funding for militarizing the border or an ineffective border wall, leaders spoke out against the false idea of 'compromise'. "I strongly disagree with making a compromise of building a wall for giving temporary protections to DACA recipients," Erik Mercado of Samammish expressed. "I disagree because building a wall is inhuman."
Youth leaders asked that Congressional Democrats stand strong against the false compromise, and demanded that Trump reopen the government. Mercado lamented, "This immigrants helped build this country and since Trump has become president, our country has broken down. We need to welcome immigrants with open doors, not a barrier."
The Washington State Republican party responded to Trump's proposal with a statement from their Chairman Caleb Heimlich.
"President Trump is putting the interests of the American people above petty politics by offering a reasonable compromise that provides immigration reform, improves border security and would open government immediately. The Democrats need to come the table and negotiate instead of resisting progress. We need a functioning government. It’s time both sides come together and do what’s best for the country."