Giving credence to those arguing his veto threat was either an impulsive "bluff" or a "temper tantrum," President Donald Trump signed the massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill on Friday afternoon, but immigrant rights groups and Dreamers were not even a little bit fooled that the president's bloviating and political head-fake had anything to do with protecting them.
"If Trump truly cared about a solution, he would push for a permanent solution and wouldn't have killed all bipartisan proposals," Paul Quinonez, an undocumented resident of Washington state and a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA), told Al Jazeera in the wake of Trump's veto threat.
Already approved by the House, the U.S. Senate rammed through the spending bill overnight, but on Friday morning Trump took to Twitter to say that despite the threat of a government shutdown if he failed to sign it by midnight, he was considering a veto.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
Within hours Trump proved his veto threat was exactly that when he signed the spending bill at the White House, but Quinonez wasn't alone in calling bullshit on the way the president tried to frame the DACA issue in the context of the omnibus.
As Dara Lind writes at Vox, the "only thing more insulting than using DACA as a fig leaf for a veto threat was the fact that everyone knew he'd back down anyway."
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Immigrants rights advocates were extremely unimpressed:
— New York Immigration Coalition (@thenyic) March 23, 2018
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) March 23, 2018
— Hispanic Caucus (@HispanicCaucus) March 23, 2018
YOU were never serious about a permanent solution — not yesterday, not today. https://t.co/sq1oXV5yih
— National Immigration Law Center (@NILC_org) March 23, 2018