President Donald Trump | YouTube, The White House

The Facts —

“These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.”

  • The administration’s list of requirements:
    • “Ensure funding for the southern border wall and associated infrastructure.”
    • “[Amend] current law to ensure the expeditious return [to their native lands] of UACs [Unaccompanied Alien Children] [that arrive in the country illegally] and family units.”
    • “Significantly tighten standards and eliminate loopholes in our asylum system.”
    • “Expand the grounds of inadmissibility” for aliens seeking entry to the US, and also expand the “grounds of deportability” for aliens already within the US to include, among other things, known gang affiliation and additional criminal convictions.”
    • Limit federal grants to so-called “sanctuary cities.”
    • Increase Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and federal immigration prosecutors.
    • “End extended-family chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children and replace it with a merit-based system that prioritizes skills and economic contributions over family connections.”

The Context —

  • Immigration reform in general, and a border wall specifically, have been priorities for Trump throughout his candidacy for president and from the beginning of his term in office.
  • In September, Trump ordered the winding down of former President Barack Obama’s DACA program, which he said he did because the issue should be handled by Congress, not the Executive branch.
  • Trump had been working with Democratic leadership, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (New York) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (California), in order to make an agreement that would protect DACA recipients before protections run out in March 2018.
  • Trump, Schumer, and Pelosi still disagree over Trump’s desired border wall, which would run the length of the border between the US and Mexico.

“We insisted… that we would review border security measures that do not include building a wall, moving forward.”

    • Trump said the same day:

“The wall will come later… The wall is going to be built. It’ll be funded a little bit later.”

Trump’s Statements on DACA —

  • While campaigning for president in 2016, Trump promised to end DACA if elected.
    • He said the following, at a campaign event in Arizona in August 2016, referring to both DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA):

“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.”

  • After taking office, Trump said the following at a press conference in February:

“We’re going to show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have, because you have these incredible kids, in many cases — not in all cases. In some of the cases they’re having DACA and they’re gang members and they’re drug dealers too. But you have some absolutely incredible kids — I would say mostly — they were brought here in such a way — it’s a very, very tough subject…

But the DACA situation is a very, very — it’s a very difficult thing for me. Because, you know, I love these kids. I love kids. I have kids and grandkids. And I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do. And you know, the law is rough. I’m not talking about new laws. I’m talking the existing law is very rough. It’s very, very rough.”

  • Trump announced on 5 September his plan to gradually phase out the DACA program, with no action to be taken for the next six months.
  • Trump said he believed that a deal would be made to protect DACA recipients from deportation before his six-month phaseout of Obama’s executive order was complete.
  • Trump tweeted on 5 September and 7 September:

  • Some of Trump’s base supporters expressed frustration with the change in perspective, evidenced by Breitbart’s headline on 14 September that read, “Report: Trump Caves on DACA, Wants ‘Quick’ Amnesty for 800K Illegal Aliens.”
    • The article called Trump “Amnesty Don” in a link on its homepage, and starts by saying:

“In a meeting with establishment politicians from the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Blue Dog Coalition, President Trump signaled a full-fledged cave on the issue of giving amnesty to nearly 800,000 illegal aliens currently protected by an Obama-created executive immigration program.”

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (Texas) addressed the president’s statements on DACA, during an interview on 14 September with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson:

  • Rep. Pete King (New York) addressed the conservative House Freedom Caucus, tweeting:

Supporters of Trump’s Immigration Principles —

“Last month, the Trump Administration issued a new order that indefinitely restricts travel to the US for citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea, as well as Venezuelan government officials and their family members. The new policy enjoys more support than opposition: 44 percent favor it and 37 percent oppose. Eighteen percent neither favor nor oppose these restrictions.”

  • Trump said on 10 October:

  • Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, said on 10 October:

  • Retired Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin David A Clarke, Jr said on 10 October:

Critics of Trump’s Immigration Principles —

“Overall, 35 percent approve of the way President Trump is handling the issue of immigration and 64 percent disapprove…

Few Americans support building a wall along the border with Mexico to help stop illegal immigration into the US. Thirty-two percent say they favor a border wall and 49 percent oppose, including 41 percent who strongly oppose it…

Six in 10 Americans favor providing a way for immigrants brought to the US illegally as children to stay in the country legally…

Among those who do not oppose allowing the “Dreamers” to remain in the country legally, two-thirds say President Trump should use his presidential powers to protect them from deportation if Congress does not pass legislation granting them legal status…

For those who do not support granting “Dreamers” legal status, 47 percent say the government should attempt to deport them, while 52 percent say the government should not.”

  • Chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas said in a statement released on 10 October:

“The Administration’s Immigration Principles and Policies do not provide the way forward for comprehensive immigration reform rooted in respect for human life and dignity, and for the security of our citizens. They are not reflective of our country’s immigrant past, and they attack the most vulnerable, notably unaccompanied children and many others who flee persecution. Most unfortunately, the principles fail to recognize that the family is the fundamental building block of our immigration system, our society, and our Church…

Since July, Congress has introduced legislative solutions for Dreamers, including the Dream Act. The Administration should focus attention on ensuring that a legislative solution for Dreamers is found as soon as possible. Every day that passes without that solution, these youth experience growing apprehension for their futures and their families. Each passing day brings us all a step closer to March 2018, when DACA recipients will begin to lose legal work privileges, and far worse, face the threat of deportation and family separation…

For this reason, we exhort Congress to take up legislation and move forward promptly to ensure true protection for Dreamers once and for all. Together with so many others of good will, we shall continue to offer welcome and support to these remarkable young people, and we shall not stop advocating for their permanent protection and eventual citizenship.”

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued the following joint statement on 8 October after the Trump Administration released immigration principles that evening:

“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…

We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise…

The 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.”

  • Rep. Salud Carbajal (California) said on 10 October:

Stephanie Haney contributed to this report. 

The Whim News Team

The Whim News Desk

We'd rather be second and accurate than be first and wrong. The Whim News Desk is a dedicated team of researchers and investigators committed to presenting the news without bias. Follow us @TheWhimOnline for daily news coverage without the spin!

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