Trump, Congressional Leaders Address Immigration

On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, President Trump gave a primetime address to the nation on immigration amidst one of the longest running federal government shutdowns. Immigration policies – specifically, the funding for a wall at the Mexico-U.S. border – are at the center of the ongoing government shutdown. Unable to convince Congressional Democrats to give him funding for a border wall, President Trump scheduled a television address to gain support for his position that there is a “humanitarian crisis” at the U.S. southern border.  

Following President Trump’s address, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer answered with the Democrat response. Pelosi and Schumer hit back firmly at President Trump for creating a “manufactured crisis” and for inflicting harm on the 800,000 federal employees who are furloughed without pay.  

In December, President Trump initially signaled he would sign a spending bill agreed to by the Senate but then made funding for the wall a requirement.  On January 3, 2019, the new 116th Congress was sworn in with Democrats taking control of the House. That evening, the Democrat-controlled House passed the same legislation that would open the government without funding for a border wall. President Trump remains steadfast that he will not make a deal without border wall funding. Democrats are equally adamant they will not agree to the funding.  

While the current conversation is largely focused on undocumented immigrants, it is important to remember what happened during the last government shutdown in March of 2018. Last March, President Trump tried to use a similar piece of must-pass legislation to extract $25 billion for his border wall. Democrats refused to accept this deal without a permanent solution for the 1.8 million young immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. President Trump and Congressional Republicans would only offer a temporary extension to the DACA Program, leaving these immigrants in limbo and allowing DACA to be used as a bargaining chip in future negotiations. The Trump Administration did not want to accept a permanent DACA fix because they are also working actively to crack down on legal immigration.  

With no end for the shutdown in sight, President Trump is looking at issuing a national emergency order at the southern U.S. border to try and redirect funds to build the wall. Any such action would likely lead to legal challenges, as it is unclear if the president can take this type of action.    

How This Impacts Mobility

The impact of the government shutdown continues to grow more severe as it drags on.  The real estate sector could be affected by both the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) being unfunded. This could lead to delays in new loans being approved and will impact environmental regulatory programs. The IRS is currently unfunded, which will lead to a delay in the agency processing tax refunds. Worldwide ERC® will continue to keep members updated on the status and impact of the government shutdown.

Read More