Trump warns of 'last chance' to pass immigration deal

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with state and local officials about infrastructure in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington Monday. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Trump warns of 'last chance' to pass immigration deal

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump warned Democrats Tuesday that it is now or never when it comes to extending protections for young immigrants living in the country illegally.
Trump in an early-morning tweet said Democrats and Republicans must act now to provide legal protections to young "Dreamer" immigrants even as legislation faces an uncertain prospect in Congress.
"Wouldn't it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle," he wrote, adding: "This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th."
Trump was referring to a deadline he announced last year to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. But a recent court ruling has rendered that deadline all but meaningless.
The Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders say it is going to be tough to broker a successful deal on immigration policy.
Trump has proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants in exchange for $25 billion for a border wall with Mexico and other security measures, as well as curbs on legal immigration. Many Democrats consider some of the proposals, including limiting the relatives that legal immigrants can bring to the US to be non-starters.
Trump will be meeting later Tuesday with the National Sheriffs' Association — a meeting where he is likely to continue his immigration pitch.
Trump also tweeted on his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, writing that "after many years we have taken care of our Military, now we have to fix our roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and more. Bipartisan, make deal Dems?"
Still, Trump has sent mixed messages on his commitment to the proposal, telling state and local officials at a White House meeting Monday that "if you don't want it, that's OK with me too."
The administration's plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage more than $1 trillion in local and state tax dollars to fix America's infrastructure, such as roads, highways, ports and airports.


Pelosi scrapped Afghan trip after Trump ‘leaked’ details

Updated 11 min 48 sec ago
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Pelosi scrapped Afghan trip after Trump ‘leaked’ details

WASHINGTON: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday excoriated her political nemesis, President Donald Trump, for “outing” her commercial trip to Afghanistan after barring her from using a military aircraft, forcing her to scrap it entirely over security concerns.
The brawl between the no-nonsense Republican leader and the take-no-prisoners Democrat — who is now just two heartbeats away from the presidency — is the latest round in their shutdown showdown.
The federal government has been shuttered for four weeks over Trump’s insistence that a wider budget measure include billions of dollars for a wall on the border with Mexico — and Pelosi’s refusal to do so.
Their spat spilled into the diplomatic arena on Thursday when, after Pelosi suggested that Trump postpone his State of the Union address until the government reopens, the president grounded her military flight.
Pelosi accused Trump of being “very irresponsible” in breaching security protocol.
“We had a report from Afghanistan that the president outing our trip had made the scene on the ground much more dangerous because it’s just a signal to the bad actors that we’re coming,” she told reporters.
The administration strongly denies that it “leaked” any plans about the trip to a war zone.
“The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat-out lie,” a senior White House official said.
The US government shutdown, which has left about 800,000 federal workers without a paycheck, is now the longest in the country’s history — and there is no sign of a compromise.
The Office of Management and Budget reportedly issued a memorandum saying that “under no circumstance during a government shutdown” can a congressional delegation use government aircraft for travel.
However, Republican Representative Lee Zeldin led a delegation to Iraq and other countries since the shutdown began.
Pelosi’s office sounded off on the administration’s handling of her trip, which had not been announced for security reasons.
The State Department released an updated assessment stressing that Trump’s announcement of the Pelosi travel “had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops,” her spokesman Drew Hammill said.
“This morning, we learned that the administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”
Democratic lawmakers have expressed outrage.
“As a former member of the Intelligence Committee who has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan, disclosing ANY Members’ travel into a war zone is disgraceful and dangerous,” tweeted House Democrat Jan Schakowsky.
“This is unprecedented.”
Trump lashed out at Pelosi once again on Twitter, asking why she and other Democrats would leave the country “on a seven day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid.”
And then his re-election campaign team released a tongue-in-cheek shutdown-related campaign fundraising request.
For a contribution of $20.20, a reference to the next election year, the campaign told supporters it would send a fake red brick to Pelosi and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — to build a wall.