Trump Administration Releases Hard-Line Demands on Dreamer Deal

The Trump administration on Sunday unveiled a list of immigration principles in preparation for negotiations over legislation to address the fate of undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children, reported The New York Times.

President Trump previously announced plans to effectively end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months. The Obama-era program serves as a refuge for over 800,000 young immigrants—thousands of whom are now currently enrolled in colleges and universities across the country and poised to make positive contributions to our nation and economy.

The administration's latest demands include funding for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, provisions aimed at cracking down on the flow of minors from Central and South America, a new merit-based legal immigration system, and changes to the federal grant program for so-called "sanctuary cities." They represent a concerted effort to broaden the expected Congressional debate regarding Dreamers to one about overhauling the entire American immigration system—on terms that hard-line conservatives have been pursuing for decades, according to the Times.

The package of immigration policy changes goes far beyond an outline of a deal the White House made with Democrats last month, which would attach a DACA fix to a border security package that would not include wall funding. Democratic lawmakers in Congress reacted with alarm, arguing that the demands threaten to undermine the president's own statements in which he had pledged to work across the aisle to protect Dreamers through legislation, the Times reported.

“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,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement Sunday evening.

Congress is struggling to come up with a deal on how to pass a legislative fix for DACA, with lawmakers introducing numerous competing proposals. Any deal will need to get at least 60 votes to clear the upper chamber and make it to Trump's desk, meaning it will need the support of both Democrats and Republicans, The Hill reported.


Related Links

The New York Times

The Hill