The Trump administration released a list of immigration principles and policies on Oct. 8, 2017, that complicate negotiations with Democrats to protect young undocumented immigrants who have qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to remain in the United States.
President Trump’s list of principles details several policy positions, including completion of the southern border wall, faster deportation of unaccompanied minors, harsher penalties for asylum fraud, cutting off grants for sanctuary cities, and empowering local and state governments to enforce federal immigration law. Employers would be required to use E-Verify, a workplace system that checks whether a new hire can legally be employed in the United States. To address the backlog of cases in immigration courts, the president proposes hiring 370 new immigration judges and 1,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys, while also imposing “performance metrics” on judges. The administration also plans to lower the limits on refugees admitted to the United States.
The policies detailed by President Trump may endanger any deal to provide legal status to immigrants who were protected by the DACA program. Previously, the president announced that the protections under DACA, an Obama-era executive action, would end in March 2018. Democratic leaders met with the president at the White House, in mid-September, and announced that a preliminary agreement had been reached to protect the young immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” in exchange for reasonable border security measures. The new list of principles released by the administration asks for much more, but what remains unclear is what the president will actually demand. While the president has stated that his list of policies “must be included” in any DACA deal, White House officials said the list was an opening bid for an eventual compromise.