Connect with us


Even Newt Gingrich thinks Trump’s immigration deal is a ‘mistake’



President Donald Trump’s strategy for negotiating an end to a record-long government shutdown is garnering critics from across the political spectrum, with everyone from Democrats, prominent conservatives, and hardline immigration hawks at odds with the Republican plan.

The Senate is set to vote Thursday on a Trump-backed bill that would end the 34-day-old shutdown, secure $5.7 billion in border-wall funding, provide temporary protections for some “Dreamers” and other immigrants, and overhaul the asylum system.

The bill is almost certain to fail in the Senate, where Democrats shot it down as a non-starter even before Trump announced the plan. They then spent much of the week criticizing Republicans for adding in a slew of unexpected restrictions on Central American children seeking asylum, and accused Republicans of negotiating in bad faith.

But Newt Gingrich scorned the bill almost as heavily. The former House speaker told USA Today that the plan made essentially no concessions to Democrats and could hardly be expected to receive bipartisan support.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is interviewed on the “Fox & Friends” television program, in New York on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
Associated Press/Richard Drew

Read more: Democrats are rejecting Trump’s immigration deal for 3 glaring reasons, and it shows just how far apart the 2 sides still are

“I think that’s misdesigned. I mean, you either design a deal that gets you Democrats, or you don’t,” Gingrich said. “If you’re trying to attract people with sugar, you shouldn’t pour vinegar on top of it.”

The statement was notable from Gingrich, who presided over the second-longest government shutdown in US history in 1995 over deep budget cuts that he demanded.

Gingrich said the Republican bill wouldn’t stand a chance without more Democrat-friendly changes.

“I don’t see any way they can pass it,” he said. “This was just plain a mistake.”

‘So much focus has been on barriers, walls, and fences’

Children climb up the Mexican side of the U.S./Mexico border fence on June 24, 2018 in Sunland Park, New Mexico.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

But on the other end of the conservative spectrum, immigration hardliners assailed Trump for compromising too much on the bill, which extends two popular immigration programs — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — for roughly 1 million immigrants by three years.

The group NumbersUSA, which pushes for lower immigration levels, assailed Trump in a statement for making an “amnesty-for-wall trade” that would “reward previous immigration lawbreakers without preventing future immigration lawbreakers.”

The group has previously outlined 10 recommendations to “fix the broken immigration enforcement system,” and none of them included a wall. Instead, the group suggested legal and policy-related reforms, such as ending birthright citizenship and restricting asylum protections.

“We’re obviously a little frustrated because so much focus has been on barriers, walls, and fences,” Chris Chmielenski, NumbersUSA’s director of content and activism, told Politico.

RJ Hauman, government relations director at Federation for American Immigration Reform, a lobbying group that also aims to limit immigration overall, told Politico he’s frustrated that Trump’s proposals have gotten “increasingly weak.”

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., as he departs accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence after a Senate Republican Policy luncheon, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019.
Associated Press/Alex Brandon

The Senate is voting Thursday on both on the Republican plan, and on a second Democratic bill that would re-open the government without wall funding. Both bills are expected to fail.

But Trump has characterized the immigration deal as a “common-sense compromise,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement on Thursday that the bill was “pragmatic” and “bipartisan.”

“Deep down, my friends across the aisle know this is not a reasonable reaction to a president of the other party,” McConnell said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job