Published: Mon, October 09, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

White House Lays Out Immigration Demands, Including Wall Funding

White House Lays Out Immigration Demands, Including Wall Funding

The list of principles, which were sent to Congressional leaders on Sunday night, called for curbing federal grants for "sanctuary cities" and limiting legal immigration which includes issuing fewer family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of USA citizens and lawful permanent residents, and creating a point-based system.

The Daca programme was a scheme set up in 2012 during the presidency of Barack Obama to protect young undocumented immigrants - so-called Dreamers (mostly Latin Americans) - from deportation.

The Trump administration is essentially asking for Congress to enact Trump's entire immigration platform from the 2016 campaign, and then some.

"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", said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a joint statement late Sunday. They said the deal did not include funding for a wall, which Democrats have repeatedly said is a non-starter.

That new ultimatum - communicated to Capitol Hill in a legislative proposal shared on Sunday - has already infuriated Democrats and threatens to provoke a similar response in Silicon Valley, where tech giants have been sharply critical of Trump's immigration agenda since the day he entered the White House.

The list, which also includes preventing immigrants from sponsoring their extended families to move to the U.S., drew immediate fire from Democratic leaders in Congress, who said it goes "far beyond what is reasonable". "This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise", Schumer and Pelosi added.

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"The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations".

On a call with reporters Sunday night, a senior administration official said the agreement between the president and Democratic leaders was mischaracterised.

Pelosi and Schumer say these proposals are a clear break with what they believe was agreed to during that dinner at the White House. Specifically, US Citizenship and Immigration Services director Lee Francis Cissna called on Congress to limit family-based legal migration to minor children and spouses of US citizens and legal permanent residents - preventing citizens from bringing over their parents, adult children, or siblings.

Cotton introduced a bill to create a skills-based immigration system earlier this year, and while President Trump voiced support for it at a White House event, the bill has just one co-sponsor.

"The principles the president has put out show he understands what's broken in our immigration system and what's holding down wages for American workers", Cotton said in a statement. The White House wants the construction of a border wall, changes to federal law to make it much harder for people to seek asylum in the U.S., to make the E-Verify employment verification system mandatory, and to prevent United States citizens and permanent residents from bringing over family members other than spouses and minor children as immigrants to the US.

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