New House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said on Friday that some amount of money for border security in exchange for legal protections for Dreamers, or young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, could be the way to agreement for Democrats and Republicans to end the ongoing partial government shutdown.
“There’s a lot of pride right now that’s probably adversely affecting a settlement on both sides, and nobody wants to cave,” Yarmuth told Hill.TV.
“But I think a deal where there’s at least temporary working permits for Dreamers for several years, that kind of a relationship if you’re not going to solve the Dreamer problem for us, some amount of money for border security is an easy deal to make,” Yarmuth continued.
The Budget Committee Chairman’s comments were made as the partial government shutdown reached the end of its second week. Both Democrats and Republicans have dug in on the negotiations. Neither side has indicated they are ready to give in or compromise on the issue of providing $5 billion for President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally and confidante of the president’s discussed a concession with Trump this week. He suggested a compromise that would involve tying border funding to work permits for Dreamers under the DACA program. Graham said Trump indicated he might be open to the idea, but other congressional Republicans seemed to show little interest in Grahams’ plan.
Leaders of Democratic activist groups have told House and Senate Democratic leaders that there will be a severe backlash from the party’s progressive base of supporters if they give in to Trump on the wall without getting a major concession in return.
The new Democratic-controlled House on Thursday passed legislation to put an end to the shutdown in a major first step. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the measure would not pass the Senate, however, because it does not include Trump‘s demanded $5 billion in border wall funding.
Trump on Friday sent a letter to lawmakers in both parties demanding a border wall ahead of talks with congressional leaders.
In the letter Trump again made demands for funding for a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and said that the need for a tangible barrier was “absolutely critical.” He also said that Democrats’ opposition to the wall is hypocritical.
“Walls work,” Trump wrote. “That’s why rich, powerful, and successful people build them around their homes. All Americans deserve the same protection.”