President Donald Trump is hardening his demands for a deal to protect young
undocumented immigrants from deportation, a dispute with congressional
Democrats that hangs over talks this week to avoid a government shutdown.
Any deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA,
must also forbid immigrants from sponsoring family members to join them
in the U.S., end a program that allots visas to people from countries
with low rates of migration to America, and provide money for a wall on
the Mexican border, a White House spokesman said Tuesday. The statement
echoed a Trump tweet from last week.
“The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can
be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border
and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System
of Immigration etc,”
the president wrote on Friday. “We must protect our Country at all cost!” On Tuesday
he added, “Democrats are doing nothing for DACA - just interested in politics.”
Two top White House officials, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Legislative
Director Marc Short, will meet with congressional leaders of both parties
Wednesday to discuss a spending plan for fiscal 2018, an issue Congress
repeatedly punted last year. The White House and Capitol Hill Republicans
say the meeting will be limited to the issue of caps on domestic and defense
spending. Any effort to bring up issues other than the caps, like immigration,
will be considered a distraction, a senior Republican aide said.
But the Democratic leaders are under pressure from Latinos to use the spending
legislation as leverage to force Trump’s hand on protection for
the young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children whom advocates call
“Dreamers.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi plan to do just that and raise DACA, among
other issues, according to a Democratic aide and a letter that Pelosi
sent Tuesday to House Democrats.
Democratic leaders have pushed for a “global” agreement that
encompasses spending caps and immigration, as well as deals on disaster
relief, electronic surveillance and the Children’s Health Insurance
Program. "We can’t leave any of those issues behind,"
Schumer said on the Senate floor in December.
Jan. 19 Deadline
The latest in a series of stopgap measures funding the government runs
out Jan. 19. Some Democrats are determined to use the next deadline to
restore the DACA protections.
Three former Homeland Security secretaries -- Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano
and Jeh Johnson -- backed such a move on Wednesday. In a joint letter
to congressional leaders, they urged lawmakers to pass legislation by
Jan. 19 “to avoid significant hardship” for U.S. immigration
officials, the business community and Dreamers themselves.
Trump announced in September that he would end the Obama-era policy --
upending the lives of almost 1 million young immigrants -- but he has
held open the possibility of signing legislation restoring it.
His demands for such a bill have broadened and hardened. At one point,
he suggested it wouldn’t even have to include money for a border
wall, according to Democrats. In October, the White House gave lawmakers
a seven-page wish list in exchange for making DACA protections permanent.
In recent days, the administration has focused on demands for a wall and
elimination of categories of visas.
“President Trump has been clear he wants America First immigration
reform in conjunction with any DACA legislation," White House spokesman
Hogan Gidley said Tuesday. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly last
month promised lawmakers a list of policy changes the administration would
ask for in exchange for protections for Dreamers, but the White House
declined Tuesday to say whether such a list would be forthcoming.
Still, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, said
Tuesday that the two sides could come to an agreement and avert a shutdown.
"I think there is an agreement that can be reached," he said
in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday. "It’s got to start
with border security, though, and putting money in place to start building
the wall as President Trump said. He campaigned on this and he won the
presidency with this being a front and center issue."
REVILLA LAW FIRM, P.A.
Miami immigration lawyers
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