Sunday, the Trump Administration released a list of conditions that it expects Congress to include in any replacement of the DACA program. Anyone who thought that President Trump was caving to the Democrats without expecting anything in return must not have read “The Art of the Deal,” because Trump put down everything on his wish list, including border wall funding.
Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are already squealing that they “explicitly” ruled out funding a border wall. Well, Trump’s voters explicitly ruled it in, and Democrats don’t run Congress anymore, so it’s back. Along with a lot of other things that they describe as “anathema to Dreamers,” but which most Americans probably would describe with a term the Democratic leadership constantly misuses: “common sense.”
The Administration’s demands include targeting the bill only to children of illegal immigrants brought to the US without their consent and giving them a pathway to legal status, not citizenship; funding to hire more immigration judges, attorneys and prosecutors and 10,000 more ICE agents, to clear out the backlog of cases and increase law enforcement; requiring employers to use E-verify, a simple method to prevent hiring illegal workers; and denying federal funds to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to comply with federal law.
They also seek to have unaccompanied minors caught entering the US illegally to be treated as adults, as long as they’re not the victims of human trafficking and it would be safe to return them home. And it would expand the list of "inadmissible aliens" to include gang members, those convicted of an aggravated felony, and former spouses and children of drug and human traffickers if they receive benefits from those activities (and why are they admissible now?)
Democratic leaders are already denouncing the Trump list of demands as unacceptable. And maybe it is just an opening bid for negotiations. But before it gets winnowed down, I think a lot of Americans want – and indeed, deserve – to know precisely which demands that I detailed above, many of them simply enforcing bipartisan laws that have long been on the books, that Democratic leaders think are “unacceptable.” And why.
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