Donald Trump sends list of hard-line immigration policy principles to Congress

Frederick Owens
October 10, 2017

On Sunday evening, Trump sent Congress a sweeping list of hardline policy demands that he says "must be included" in any legislation to protect the Dreamers previously covered by Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The status of almost 800,000 Dreamers was called into question in September when President Donald Trump rescinded the Obama-era program that had protected them, known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), giving Congress six months to enact the program into law.

"Many items in the new list are familiar; a wall along the length of the U.S. -Mexico border, 10,000 new immigration agents, toughened federal restrictions on asylum-seekers and denial of federal grants to so-called 'sanctuary cities".

In his letter to Congress, Trump said the list of proposals was developed from the bottom up, working with law enforcement professionals on the front lines of America's immigration system.

The demands include some policies that Democrats say are off the table, and thus could potentially derail ongoing negotiations over protecting young immigrants from deportation, many of whom were brought to the USA illegally as children.

A USA official told Congress on Tuesday it would be "rational" to legislate a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, but within hours the administration backtracked, saying his comments did not state the views of President Donald Trump. He was so delighted with the press he got from his three-month budget and debt-ceiling extension (at the expense of Republicans) that he called Pelosi to share the reviews, at which time she got him to tweet reassuring messages to DACA recipients. It was last month that the American leader made an announcement regarding the kicking out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Schumer and Pelosi issued a joint statement Sunday night accusing Trump of reneging on the deal. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise, ' they added.

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The plans, revealed by the White House in October, tie future legal protection of "Dreamer" immigrants to funding for Trump's controversial border wall with Mexico and increased spending on immigration enforcement officers.

"There was a deal to work on a deal as fast as possible", the official said.

Trump's list of demands includes overhauling the country's green-card system, a crackdown on unaccompanied minors entering the country, and building his promised wall along the southern border.

Two days later, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and other top Latino Democrats were arrested at Trump Tower after engaging in civil disobedience that called for the passage of the DREAM Act. I applaud President Trump and urge Congress to listen to the American people and swiftly pass these commonsense proposals into law.

After meeting with the Democrats, Trump said, "We're not looking at citizenship" for Dreamers.

Trump would also do away with the diversity visa lottery, which grants 50,000 visas to foreign nationals with no ties to the USA, and suggested he would favor reducing annual refugee admissions, which the administration said "needs to be realigned with American priorities".

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