White House Releases Hard-Line Immigration Demands For Deal on DACA
October 19, 2017
On Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, the White House released a series of Immigration Principles
& Policies which outline the Trump Administration's position on immigration. The list calls for an overall reduction in legal immigration, procedural changes to make the asylum process more difficult, expeditious deportation of unaccompanied children, and general increase in deportation activities. The administration's demands represent the most extreme anti-immigrant policy goals and are likely to derail the deal with the Congress to permanent legalize young, undocumented immigrants known as "Dreamers."
The Trump administration has announced last month that it is phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. DACA was created under the Obama administration after the Dream Act, which would provide permanent legal status to young unauthorized migrants who entered the US as children, repeatedly failed in a divided Congress. DACA currently protects approximately 800,000 young people from deportation in the US. Following the announcement, Trump announced that he agreed to strike a deal with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), promising to support a bill that would allow dreamers to obtain legal status without requiring his "border wall" in return. The recently announced White House immigration principles appear to be striking departure from Trump's previous commitment to support DACA legislation.
The immigration Principles and Policies is a three part document that the White House describes as necessary to protect public safety and American jobs. It proposes measures to increase border security and interior enforcement, and endorses a merit-based immigration system that will effectively end the current employment based immigration system and almost all of the family sponsored categories. The spirit of the document appears to be an appeal to the hardline, anti-immigrant extremist wing of GOP.
Critics are firmly denouncing Trump's policies as the most severe immigration restriction proposals seen to date. Immigration advocates are expected to urge Democratic leaders to reject any kind of compromise that includes these proposals. However, if a deal is not reached by March 5, 2018, Dreamers will start losing their permission to live and work in the US.