The Trump administration has submitted a list of immigration priorities to Congress.
President Donald Trump has called for expedited deportation enforcement, a steep reduction in legal immigration, funding for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and a refusal to grant Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients a pathway to citizenship. Democrats have blasted the president's wishlist and have warned that his immigration terms could jeopardize a bipartisan fix for the DACA program.
On Oct. 8, the Trump administration provided a list of conditions for any congressional legislation that offered protections against deportation for DACA recipients, who were brought to the U.S. before turning 16 years old. The list of immigration priorities, which was reportedly spearheaded by White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, has been deemed unacceptable by Democratic lawmakers.
The Trump administration also requested the hiring of 370 immigration judges, 1,000 immigration prosecutors and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. The administration also called on Congress to change the current U.S. legal immigration system by limiting the varieties of permanent residents that an American citizen citizen could sponsor and transforming green cards into a merit-based point system.
"These are reasonable proposals that will build on the early success of President Trump's leadership," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement, according to The Daily Caller. "This plan will work. If followed it will produce an immigration system with integrity and one in which we can take pride."
Trump said in a letter to Congress that his administration's immigration priorities would have to be included in any DACA legislation.
"These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of [DACA] recipients," said the letter. "Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which several and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end."
A White House aide who requested anonymity told The Washington Post that the Trump administration was "not interested in granting a path to citizenship."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released a joint statement that called Trump's terms unreasonable. The two Democratic leaders had previously agreed to an immigration deal with Trump that would offer DACA protections.
"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," the statement read. "We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures ... but this list goes far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise."
Several Trump administration officials who requested anonymity asserted that Trump would not necessarily reject a DACA bill that did not include all of his immigration priorities.
"We're not discussing what's a veto threat right now," a senior official told Politico.