Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Immigration demands linked to support for DACA

The White House proposals called for limiting family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and creating a point-based system as well as boosting fees at border crossings making it easier to Trump ties border wall to immigration reform
Rosalie Gross | 10 October, 2017, 00:50

The plan calls for funds for the construction of President Trump's Mexico border wall, and would allow the deportation of unaccompanied children arriving illegally in the United States, impose more rigorous checks on asylum applicants, make it harder for gang members to sneak into the USA and ensure swift removal of all immigration offenders, with a particular focus on visa overstayers. Josh Gerstein from Politico may be right that the immigration wish list is like a presidential budget, in that Congress won't necessarily be guided by it, but I suspect it's more significant than that.

The demands could derail negotiations over legislation that would address the canceled DACA program.

"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.

A White House official said the president wants lawmakers to use the principles to guide legislation on immigration reform, which would also accompany a bill to replace DACA.

They included a complete overhaul of the green-card system that would limit family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of USA citizens and lawful permanent residents. However, Pelosi and Schumer have repeatedly emphasized that any deal they would sign onto would exclude Trump's proposed border wall, even if it included more general funding for enhanced border security. Either President Trump has changed his mind about shielding from deportation thousands of young undocumented immigrants in the country, or he never really wanted to do so in the first place. But at the time, and again in reaction to the White House demands Sunday, they said a border wall was a non-starter. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders then said it was.

Top congressional Democrats say the list is unreasonable and fails to represent any attempt at compromise. Though none of them is framed as a veto threat, they represent conservative positions that skeptics of DACA have insisted ought to be part of any deal to provide legal status to those brought to the US illegally.

The White House's initiative also includes more tough stance as for unaccompanied minors entering the United States and introduction of a merit based system limiting a chain migration to close family members, the media outlet added.

The White House unveiled its vision for immigration reform Sunday and said that it had sent the document to Congress.

Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals had provided two-year work permits to the dreamers that Trump has called "unconstitutional".

Trump's list was criticized by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the respective Democratic leaders in the Senate and House.

When Democrats struck a tentative deal last month with the president to protect "dreamers" from deportations, they were skeptical that it would turn into anything real.

The documents call for tighter standards for those seeking U.S. asylum, denial of federal grants to "sanctuary cities" that serve as refuges for illegal immigrants, and a requirement that employers use an electronic verification system known as "E-Verify" to keep illegal immigrants from securing jobs.

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