White House links border wall, green card overhaul to DACA
By JILL COLVIN
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration priorities on Sunday that threaten to derail efforts to protect from deportation hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, many of whom were brought into the U.S. illegally as children.
The demands include overhauling the country’s green-card system, hiring 10,000 more immigration officers and building President Donald Trump’s promised wall along the southern border. Many are policies Democrats have explicitly said are off the table.
But Trump administration officials said the president will insist on their passage in exchange for supporting legislation that would extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
“These priorities are essential to mitigate the legal and economic consequences of any grants or status to DACA recipients,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters. “We’re asking that these reforms be included in any legislation concerning the status of DACA recipients.”
Initiated under President Barack Obama, DACA protected hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation and allowed them to continue working legally in the U.S. Trump announced a phase-out of the program last month, but he has given Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix.
Included on the list of demands: limiting family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and creating a point-based system.
The White House also said it wants to boost fees at border crossings, make it easier to deport gang members and unaccompanied children, and overhaul the asylum system. And it wants new measures to crack down on “sanctuary cities,” which don’t share information with federal immigration authorities, among other proposals.
Democrats vehemently oppose many of the demands laid out in the administration list.
In a joint statement, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the list “goes […]