White House releases immigration wish list

Sen. Bob Corker R-Tenn. talks to reporters on June 21

The immigration demands that the administration of President Donald Trump sent to Congress on Sunday is likely to complicate any deal with Democrats regarding the protection for roughly 700,000 young people now facing possible deportation from the US, reports said.

The 70-point immigration plan includes a border wall funding request, the hiring of 10,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, eliminating loopholes to make it simpler to deport unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors and implementing a merit-based immigration system that would likely halve legal immigration. Trump has promised tighter immigration control, which appealed to many of his conservative supporters, but his policies have also drawn wide criticism.

The plan, which was delivered to leaders in Congress on Sunday night, drew a swift rebuke from Democrats, who are seeking a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump ended last month.

A cover letter sent to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, "These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients". It also called for limiting family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of USA citizens and lawful residents.

Before the election and after winning the USA presidential vote Trump made a number of statements pledging to take a more hardline position as for undocumented migration to the United States and to proceed with the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico among other issues.

Former President Barack Obama issued a presidential order allowing the "Dreamers" to remain in the United States and to work. Politico also noted two White House officials said the administration sees its immigration principles as an opening bid for an eventual DACA deal that may look dramatically different from the demands laid out Sunday evening. The White House did not say how much money it needed for a border wall or how many miles it would like such a barrier to cover.

The proposed reforms could set up a showdown with Democrats over the future of these younger undocumented immigrants, known as "dreamers", whose parents brought them here unlawfully as children.

Trump called the DACA program, which provides almost 700,000 recipients with temporary protection from deportation and two-year work permits, "unconstitutional" last month, and said he would phase the program out in six months.

A woman walk past prototype sections of a border wall between Mexico and the United States under construction on October 5, 2017 in Tijuana, Mexico.

Fast-forward to Sunday, when senior Trump administration officials offered their early demands for an immigration bill - one that preserves DACA at a steep price for its supporters. Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of these crackdowns, decreasing even legal immigration and have long-demanded border security before amnesty.

Mr Schumer and Ms Pelosi said in a statement after a meeting with Mr Trump last month that he had told them funding for the wall would not be part of a Daca deal.

"This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise", the Democratic leaders said, adding later that "if the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good-faith effort to do so".

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