US President Donald Trump is expected to try to end the government shutdown with an offer to provide sanctuary to some immigrants in return for funding for a border wall with Mexico.
In an address from the White House, Trump is expected to extend protection for so-called “dreamers” – adults who were brought to the US illegally as children – in return for the US$5.7 billion he wants for border protection.
The fate of this group, who were previously protected under Obama-era laws, has been one of the most contentious immigration battlegrounds of Trump’s presidency.
According to Axios, Trump will also offer a similar deal to thousands refugees living in the US under Temporary Protected Status, granted after their countries of birth were struck by natural disasters or political violence.
THE SHUTDOWN: Everything affected by US government crisis
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LONGEST EVER SHUTDOWN
The United States is currently in the middle of its longest ever partial shutdown, over the Democrats’ refusal of Donald Trump’s request for $US5.7 billion ($A8 billion) to fund his border wall.
While some 800,000 federal workers are currently either furloughed or working without pay, the spat has in recent days descended into farce.
On Wednesday, the Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Mr Trump to reschedule his State of the Union address, citing security concerns over a lack of federal workers.
The following day, Mr Trump retaliated by cancelling Ms Pelosi’s planned Democrat congressional excursion to Afghanistan, Brussels and Egypt telling her the “public relations” exercise would have to wait until the shutdown ended.
In the past week talks between the White House and Democrats have broken down. Mr Trump wants to continue negotiating but Democrats insist the president needs to re-open the government and then continue talks over border security.
UNITED STATES OF EMERGENCY
Mr Trump has repeatedly described the situation on the border as a “crisis”, a claim his critics dispute and which he has been using to build his case for a declaring a state of emergency.
“I may declare a national emergency dependent on what might happen to resolve the partial government shutdown,” Mr Trump has said.
Such a move would hand Mr Trump increased powers and the ability to bypass a raft of laws. The premise of a state of emergency is that the country cannot cope using its existing laws and the implementation of new laws would take too long.
A declaration would not end the shutdown, which can only end after the president settles a deal with Congress, but it would allow funds to be diverted to border security.
American presidents regularly issue emergency declarations and often renew declarations from previous administrations. An example of this is the state of emergency declared following the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, an act which froze Iranian assets within the US and has been repeatedly invoked by new leaders.
Domestic emergency declarations include those following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a 2009 flu epidemic. During his 2016 campaign, then-candidate Trump spoke of his plans to declare a state of emergency to counter America’s opioid epidemic.