2017/10/09

Trump intends to protect “Dreamer” with Democrats

President Donald Trump pledge to work with Democrats to protect "Dreamers". "Dreamers" means young people who were brought illegally to the United States as children. Trump called on Sunday for money to fund a border wall and thousands more immigration officers to be part of the deal.

Trump’s list of immigration "principles," laid out in a document seen by Reuters, is likely to be a non-starter for Democrats, who are seeking a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump ended last month.

The proposal includes a crackdown on unaccompanied minors who enter the United States, many of them from Central America. The plan was delivered to leaders in Congress on Sunday evening.

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The White House wants the wish list to guide immigration reform in Congress and accompany a bill to replace DACA, an Obama-era program that protected nearly 800,000 "Dreamers" from deportation and also allowed them to secure work permits.

The inclusion of border wall funding in the list could prompt Democrats to accuse Trump of rowing back earlier suggestions that he would keep the wall issue separate from an initiative to help DACA recipients. The White House priorities, if enacted, could result in the deportation of Dreamers’ parents.

On Sunday, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the minority leaders from the Senate and House, respectively, issued a joint statement rejecting the White House's proposals.

"The Administration can't be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans," the two leaders said in the statement.

"We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise. The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations," they added.

"If the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so."

The proposals also include a request for funds to hire 370 more immigration judges; 1,000 attorneys for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency; 300 federal prosecutors and 10,000 additional ICE agents to enforce immigration laws.

"The president has made clear he wants Congress to act and pass responsible immigration reform in conjunction with any legislation related to DACA," said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.

Trump told Congress it had six months to come up with legislation to help Dreamers, who are a fraction of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of whom are Hispanic.

The document calls for tighter standards for those seeking U.S. asylum, denial of federal grants to “sanctuary cities” that serve as refuges for illegal immigrants, and a requirement that employers use an electronic verification system known as "E-Verify" to keep illegal immigrants from securing jobs.


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