The list of White House demands to Congress would be a major tightening of immigration laws. White House aides described the proposals as necessary to protect public safety and jobs for American-born workers, which was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign.
The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles Sunday that threaten to derail a deal in Congress to allow hundreds of thousands of younger undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. legally, the Washington Post reports. The administration’s wish list includes the funding of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a crackdown on the influx of Central American minors and curbs on federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” according to a document distributed to Congress. The demands were quickly denounced by Democratic leaders who had hoped to forge a deal with President Trump to protect younger immigrants, known as “dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Trump plans to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program that had provided two-year work permits to the dreamers that Trump called “unconstitutional.”
About 690,000 immigrants are enrolled in DACA, but their work permits are set to begin expiring in March. The list released by the administration would represent a major tightening of immigration laws. Cuts to legal immigration are included. While Democrats have called for a path to citizenship for all dreamers, a group estimated at more than 1.5 million, a White House aide said Sunday night the administration is “not interested in granting a path to citizenship” in a deal to preserve DACA. White House aides described the proposals as necessary to protect public safety and jobs for American-born workers, which was a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign. The president has moved to tighten border security through executive orders, including curbs on immigration and refugees from some majority-Muslim nations and an increase in deportations.