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What does Trump want in exchange for letting DACA recipients stay?

Published: Monday, October 09, 2017 @ 1:16 PM
By: Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The Trump administration says any deal to protect DACA recipients from deportation will come at the price of a border wall and a crackdown on sanctuary cities.

The White House released Sunday a list of immigration reforms it expects to see passed if a deal to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the program to protect undocumented children illegally brought to the country by their parents, is to be had.

>>What is DACA?

The list, which includes 18 initiatives, "must be included" as part of any legislation addressing the status of those in the DACA program, according to a letter from President Donald Trump to members of Congress.

"Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end," Trump said in the letter.

"These priorities are essential to mitigate the legal and economic consequences of any grant of status to DACA recipients," White House legislative director Marc Short reiterated on a call with reporters. "They fulfill the President's promise to advance immigration reform that puts the need of American workers first."

Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate were quick to condemn the list.

"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," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said in a joint statement. 

"We told the President at our meeting (a dinner that Democratic leaders had with the president last month) that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable,"

Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement. "This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise. The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so."

The Democrats’ proposed “Dream Act” would give those enrolled in DACA permanent legal status that would include a path to citizenship in the United States. The measures from the White House range from restricting asylum protection and returning unaccompanied minors to expanding ways to circumvent parts of the deportation process. The measures also include an overhaul of the green card system and steps to deny federal grants to sanctuary cities.

Click here to see the full list released by the White House on Sunday.