These requests are focused on border security, interior immigration enforcement, and the legal immigration system. The White House’s legislative director Marc Short said that the priorities were created from a “deliberative process driven by agencies and law enforcement professionals” responsible for immigration law and that they will “modernize” the immigration system to put “American workers first.”
“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “This list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so.”
Schumer and Pelosi claimed after a meeting last month with Trump that the president agreed to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in a deal that would include border security measures, but no border wall funding. However, a White House official said Sunday that this was a “mischaracterization” by the Democrats.
The requests sent to Congress also call for targeting sanctuary cities by eliminating Justice Department and Homeland Security grants from jurisdictions that fail to cooperate with federal immigration officials, allowing state and local governments to pass immigration laws to support federal efforts, classifying visa overstays as a misdemeanor, hiring 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, expanding ICE’s ability to detain illegal immigrants and requiring usage of an e-verify system to ensure illegal immigrants can’t be employed.