arabsvoice – President Trump surprised Congress on Friday by threatening to veto the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that passed the Senate early in the morning because lawmakers refused to fund his border wall, and did nothing to deal with the expired Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
The $1.3 trillion spending bill passed after midnight and if signed into law by Trump would avert another federal government shutdown.
Congress is not in session Friday and any presidential veto would force lawmakers to return to Washington to address both issues. Only the conservative House Freedom Caucus had said it would support a veto on the funding bill.
DACA essentially ended March 5, six months after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the program, created through a 2012 executive order by former President Barack Obama, was unconstitutional because the Immigration and Nationality Act mandated Congress, not the executive branch, set immigration levels.
The order gave children of illegal immigrants the chance to apply for a two-year permit that provided legal protections and work permits.
After winding down the program, multiple states sued the Trump administration. Two of those lawsuits have resulted in judges issuing temporary injunctions mandating the program continue while legal challenges to Trump’s decision are decided by the courts.
Current recipients are able to apply for renewal while the cases are pending, but no new illegal immigrants who would otherwise be covered by the program can apply.
Two cases — one in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California and another in the Eastern District of New York — have both received preliminary injunctions, which mandated the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency continue to accept renewal applications from 689,000 DACA recipients while the issue is decided by the courts.
In late January, the White House proposed a four-point immigration plan as a way of starting negotiations with Democrats about codifying DACA. Trump’s proposal included a pathway to the 800,000 DACA recipients, as well as 1 million others who were eligible for the program since it was rolled it out in 2012, but did not enroll.
Trump’s proposal also called for $25 billion in border wall funding, rescinding of the diversity visa lottery and replacing it with a merit-based system, and ending “chain migration,” or visa sponsorships to extended family members.
The omnibus includes $1.57 billion for more than 90 miles of border wall system, including technology and infrastructure. The administration had asked for enough funding for 74 miles in fiscal 2018.
Originally, the White House asked for border security funding in exchange for a law that gives DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship.
Last August, GOP Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas reintroduced a new version of the RAISE Act, which includes the chain migration and merit-based visa program.