Long Island’s congressional delegation reacted along party lines to President Donald Trump's border security plan, which he outlined Saturday afternoon.
The president's plan, which he called a "common-sense compromise," includes $5.7 billion for a border wall.
Trump’s attempt to end the stalemate over the border wall, and end a nearly monthlong government shutdown affecting about 800,000 federal workers, offers incentives meant to induce Democrats to support his signature campaign promise — including temporary protections for 700,000 immigrants brought illegally as children into the country.
Republicans said those measures were sufficient incentive for Democrats to approve Trump's plan, which includes hiring more border agents and immigration judges to help with a court backlog.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) wrote on his official Twitter account: “Congress must act now. Time to deal. POTUS immigration proposal offers real compromise. Border barriers & increased border agents. Humanitarian funds. Dreamers & TPS protections. Freedom Caucus and Progressives can’t control debate. Let’s reach compromise ASAP.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) invoked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s name in a tweet saying it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to strike a deal.
“It’s past time for @SpeakerPelosi to negotiate and compromise. She’s admitted she won’t even negotiate w/POTUS after the shutdown on increased $ to harden our border. Unacceptable. She doesn’t have absolute power. No one does. Let’s talk to each other and work it all out. No excuses!”
But Democrats voiced their displeasure, some saying they didn’t approve of Trump's tactics while others said his concessions didn’t go far enough.
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, who this week threw her hat in the 2020 presidential race, tweeted: “Trump ordered the end of DACA and TPS. Then he shut down the government. Now he’s holding federal workers hostage, saying he'll temporarily give back what he took away — only if we give him a pointless, ineffective wall he falsely promised Mexico would pay for. This is a bad deal.”
“DACA recipients and TPS holders deserve a path to citizenship. And federal workers deserve an end to this shutdown. But these groups are not bargaining chips,” Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) said in a statement. “If the President is serious about border security and immigration reform then he should sign a bill to reopen the government and negotiate with Democrats in good faith. These are serious issues that deserve thoughtful discussions. And we can't have those discussions while the government remains closed and millions of Americans are hurting. That's no way to govern.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans) tweeted: “Temporary protections for DACA and TPS in exchange for a permanent and useless wall. Can’t even call this negotiating in bad faith because this clearly wasn’t meant to be a negotiation. Just another con.”