The White House earlier this week sent a list of demands that President Trump wants included in any deal to turn the expired Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program into law.
In exchange for protecting the 800,000 young immigrants known as Dreamers, Trump is insisting that Congress provide funding for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and the hiring of 10,000 immigration agents, as well as language that denies federal grants to sanctuary cities.
In a letter to lawmakers, Trump said his demands address “dangerous loopholes, outdated laws and easily exploited vulnerabilities” in the existing immigration system.
President Trump announced Sept. 5 that his administration will end the DACA program in March, giving Congress six months to figure out a legislative fix. If Congress fails to act by March 5, those Dreamers would lose jobs they currently hold and be vulnerable to deportation. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have interest in extending DACA, though there are some conservatives who view DACA as amnesty and want to end the program.
Congressional Democrats said the administration’s latest demands show that the White House is not serious about compromise on a DACA fix.
“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,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a joint statement. “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.”