The Trump administration released a list of strict demands in exchange for offering protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiaries. Among the requests is funding for the border wall, which Democrats reportedly talked Trump out of doing after making a deal with him on DACA recipients in September.
The list, which the administration dropped on the evening of Oct. 8, backtracks on any hope that Democrats may have had to strike a compromise.
"These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients," President Donald Trump wrote to Congress according The Washington Post. "Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end."
Trump has repeatedly stated that he did not expect the border wall funding to be lumped in with the DACA deal, but rather in a separate piece of legislation. But the border wall is the administration's No. 1 priority in its list of demands.
Estimates place the cost of the wall upwards of $25 billion, according to The Washington Post. In turn, the 690,000 DACA recipients would be allowed to remain under "legal status" in the U.S., although citizenship is not guaranteed.
Other demands include mandating employers use E-Verify when hiring new workers. E-Verify requires that employers check the immigration status of prospective employees. This policy could prevent the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally from finding work, Vice News reports.
The Trump administration also requests hiring 10,000 new immigration agents, toughening laws on asylum seekers, denying federal grants to sanctuary cities and prohibiting extended family of legal U.S. citizens from coming to the country, reports The New York Times.
The requests take particular aim at children from Central American countries, who are often sent by their parents to the U.S. to flee violence in their home countries.
The list has sent a ripple throughout both houses of Congress -- Democrats and Republicans alike. It's possible that this is what Trump meant by remarking that "this is the calm before the storm" when taking a picture with members of the military on Oct. 5.
Vox reports that when asked by reporters what he meant, the president simply responded "you'll find out." Trump later repeated this the next day.
In a joint statement, Democratic Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi called the proposals "anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans." DACA recipients are sometimes referred to as "Dreamers."
"We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures," the statement added. "But this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise."