March 20 2018

Schumer, Pelosi say Trump's immigration demands 'can't be serious'

March 20 2018, 11:39 | Ann Lamb

President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on Sept. 19 2017

President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session

These demands - including the building of a wall on the southern border and major changes to the legal immigration system - were denounced by Democrat lawmakers, portending a bleak future for the Dreamers, who will not be able to remain in the country legally.

"We are not interested in granting citizenship", a White House official said.

Arguing for a merit-based immigration system, Mr Trump told the Congress that the current immigration system does not serve the national interest as it prioritises extended family-based chain migration over skills-based immigration.

It's hard to exaggerate just how lopsided the White House's proposal is. "We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures ... but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable".

His decision was met be protests across the U.S., with many arguing that these young men and women had been brought up in the USA since childhood, and now aged in their twenties and early thirties the United States is the only country they know - to send them "back" to Mexico or other Latin American countries would be unfair.

The two met with Trump at the White House in late September and announced they'd reached an agreement on how to protect recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a Obama-era program that shielded around 700,000 immigrants from deportation. Some were quick to say though that the hardline demands shouldn't be seen as Trump's views, but rather those of a small part of his administration.

Instead of finding a legislative solution to the situation of young people protected by DACA, the Democrats found the President's request for funding for his long-awaited border wall.

But one person familiar with the president's thinking said the list was meant to make clear that Trump is no longer interested in forging a DACA deal, the same message sent by a White House official's insistence Sunday that any path to citizenship for DACA recipients was off the table.

"You can count on that to happen very soon", Sanders said.

A deal is still attainable, added Vice Chairman Joaquin Castro, but only if the White House is "reasonable".

House Speaker Paul Ryan's office was noncommittal.

Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement. Democrats already have said numerous White House's terms are off the table.

"Many Americans would be surprised to know that being released into the interior of the country as an illegal immigrant is as simple as filing for an asylum petition", Vitiello said.

The White House also wants Congress to mandate the use of E-Verify by employers to check the immigration status of prospective workers.

"This is basically going after the Dreamers parents", the aide said. "Right now, we're trying to get Republicans to vote on what we believe".

"Trump may be a bore, but he's not a fool", Krikorian said.

"President Trump and Congress have victory within their grasp". Pelosi said she trusts Trump to follow through on that promise, suggesting an ideological divide between the president and the more conservative members of his staff. He wavered between describing the DACA program as "amnesty" to promising to deal with the problem with heart.

Trump struggled for months over what to do about the Dreamers.

He continued to struggle after ending the program, expressing hope that Congress would find a way to protect them permanently.

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