WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump demanded that Congress deliver funding for his border wall and make dramatic changes to immigration policy in exchange for giving relief to illegal immigrants that received protection via former President Obama’s executive order Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The administration’s proposal, outlined in a briefing by U.S. officials and sent to lawmakers on Sunday night, was swiftly rejected by top Democrats in Congress, who charged that the president had reneged on an agreement last month to allow about 800,000 so-called Dreamers to remain in the U.S.
However, after Democrat leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) walked away from said debt ceiling meeting claiming they had made a deal to save DACA, Trump responded emphatically that no such deal had been made. The tying of DACA to border wall funds, and the like, apparently gives more consideration to the latter.
Trump’s plan calls for fully funding his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, money to hire thousands of additional immigration agents and revamping the asylum system. Its principles are meant as the framework for a legislative reworking of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump terminated in September with a six-month sunset to allow for congressional action.
“These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients,” Trump said in a letter to congressional leaders. “Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.”
North Carolina Congressman and chairman of the House Freedom Caucus Rep. Mark Meadows indicated he was encouraged by Trump’s continued stand against illegal immigration, a core theme of the president’s 2016 campaign.
“Members of the House Freedom Caucus continue to work with the administration and other congressional Republicans on potential fixes to the unconstitutional Obama-era DACA program,” said Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who is chairman of the caucus. “We look forward to the administration’s insistence on these principles in any deal that is signed into law.”
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley last week said he’s demanding that any deal include a mandatory E-Verify system for employers to check the immigration status of job applicants.