Donald Trump bragged today that Democrats had “caved” by agreeing an emergency deal to end the three-day US government shutdown — casting doubt on the hopes of immigrant “Dreamers”.
“Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown,” the president tweeted after signing a bill that funds government services until February 8.
“See you at the negotiating table!” he added after Senate Democrats agreed to adopt the short-term budget.
The deal struck by party leaders yesterday — and passed by the Senate and House of Representatives — allows hundreds of thousands of federal employees to return to work today.
Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2018
Democrats agreed to back the spending bill after Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell promised a debate in the next few weeks on the future of “Dreamers”, young, undocumented immigrants who were brought illegally to America by their parents.
“It’s evident that this government shutdown is doing nothing, absolutely nothing to generate bipartisan progress on the issues the American public care about,” said Mr McConnell.
Democrat leaders said the immigration debate would give an opportunity to reverse Mr Trump’s decision to end the Obama-eraDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme allowing the “Dreamers” to remain in the US.
The party’s Senate leader Charles Schumer mocked Mr Trump for not engaging in the talks, saying “the great deal-making president sat on the sidelines”.
He added: “The Republican majority now has 17 days to prevent the Dreamers from being deported.”
The spending bill passed the Senate by 81 to 18. But possible Democratic 2020 presidential candidatese — Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris — all voted against.
Senator Harris said it would be “foolhardy” to trust Mr McConnell.
The president’s tweet hinted there might be grounds for the Dreamers to hope they can avoid deportation.
“Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security,” he wrote.
But in a statement he said: “We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for our country.”
This sparked fears among Dreamer activists that they will be betrayed.
Critics of the deal accused Democrats of squandering a chance to secure assurances that Dreamers would be allowed to stay.
“Last week, I was moved to tears of joy when Democrats stood up and fought for progressive values and for Dreamers,’ said Frank Sharry, executive director of immigrants’ rights group America’s Voice.
“Today, I am moved to tears of disappointment and anger that Democrats blinked.”