Immigration |Developing

Trump ties hard-line immigration demands to DACA reform

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George Engels

George Engels

"Hi Jessie, it's common journalistic p..."
George Engels

George Engels

"Hi Jessie, thanks for your comment. W..."
JC

Jessie Collins

"> hard-line immigration prioritie..."
JC

Jessie Collins

"The piece finishes with an emotional ..."

U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s administration has presented Congress with an array of  hard-line immigration priorities – including funding for a controversial border wall  – in exchange for extending protections for up to 800,000 young immigrants, known as Dreamers.

Presented to Congress on October 8, Trump’s stipulations fall into three main categories: border security, interior enforcement, and a merit-based immigration system. His proposals include hiring an additional 10,000 immigration officers, deporting foreign unaccompanied minors, overhauling the country’s green card system by restricting applicants to spouses and underage children, and funding and completing a controversial border wall with Mexico.

Many of Trump’s demands have been previously ruled out by Democrats and threaten to derail fledgling bipartisan negotiations over legislation aimed at protecting Dreamers.

Dreamers get their name from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a legislative multi-phase proposal that would first grant conditional residency to qualifying foreign minors. After meeting additional requirements, qualifying minors would be granted permanent residency.

The Dream Act was first introduced in 2001 and has been re-introduced several times in both Houses, but has never been passed into law.

Several Republican allies praised Trump’s announcement today. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “President Trump has put forth a series of proposals that will restore the rule of law to our immigration system, prioritize America’s safety and security, and end the lawlessness.”

Foreign Secretary Rex Tillerson echoed Sessions’s statement, adding: “Even as we take new steps to protect Americans, we will make sure the United States remains a beacon of liberty for people the world over.”

Elaine Duke, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said: “I look forward to working with Congress on legislation that will enact many of these common sense and necessary reforms that will inevitably better secure our nation.”

Under former president Barack Obama’s Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which was established in June 2012, Dreamers were given a two-year reprieve from deportation and became eligible for work permits.

The Trump administration rescinded the policy in September 2017 and gave Congress six months to pass a replacement before the programme begins to wind down and Dreamers begin to lose their status.

After announcing DACA’s demise, Trump initially seemed eager to foster bipartisan support for a deal that separated Dreamers’ legal status from his more controversial immigration policies.

At a meeting with moderate members of both parties on September 12, the president urged Democrats and Republicans “to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems.”

“If you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was done on a bipartisan manner. And so that’s what we’re going to give a shot,” Trump said.

A day later and after a Chinese food dinner at the White House to which Republicans members were not invited, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi announced: “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”

But the alleged agreement quickly crumbled after conservative lawmakers and commentators attacked the president for seemingly ignoring his party and making common cause with Democrats over the politically-fraught issue of immigration.

GOP Representative Steven King of Iowa, the House’s top immigration hardliner, tweeted that if reports of the deal were true, “Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”

Conservative firebrand and fervent Trump supporter Ann Coulter tweeted: “At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?”

Far right-wing website Breitbart accused the president of “a full-fledged cave,” and ran a headline titled: “Amnesty Don”. Breitbart is run by Steve Bannon, Mr Trump’s former chief strategist.

Trump tweeted on September 14: “No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”

Shortly after the White House’s announcement last night, Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement: “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” they said.

“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.”

Another senior Democrat said: “It is immoral for the President to use the lives of these young people as bargaining chips in his quest to impose his cruel, anti-immigrant and un-American agenda on our nation”.

Nelly González, Dreamer, university student, and marketing director at a staffing agency, told WikiTribune: “Before that [DACA], it was really hard. We didn’t get anything. We weren’t allowed to apply for a driver’s licence – not even a permit. We didn’t have social [security]. We were literally just a body here.”

“It’s really hard right now how people are viewing us and how people think,” said González, 22. “And it’s our duty to inform everybody out there what DACA is and make them see we’re not criminals, we’re not here to harm anybody. We’re just here to pursue our dreams.”


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United Kingdom
George Engels is a staff journalist and producer at WikiTribune. He has a background in history and philosophy and a strong interest in international politics and security, and social affairs. His work has been published by The Sunday Times, The Camden New Journal, The West End Extra and the Islington Tribune.

History for stories "Trump ties hard-line immigration demands to DACA reform"

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22 January 2018

30 October 2017

13:53:16, 30 Oct 2017 . .‎ George Engels (Updated → deleted "Developing" from the headline)

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  1. Flagged as bias

    > hard-line immigration priorities

    Hard-line has negative connotations that seem unwarranted.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardline:

    > being absolutist and sometimes authoritarian. The hardline position is often extremist and uncompromising.

    It makes it out like he is unwilling to negotiate and uncompromising but I don’t see evidence of that.

    1. Rewrite

      Hi Jessie, thanks for your comment. What would you suggest?

  2. Flagged as bias

    The piece finishes with an emotional appeal which seems to favor one-side of the debate. The last 5 paragraphs are also negative for Trump.

    The piece should finish with a balanced summary.

    1. Rewrite

      Hi Jessie, it’s common journalistic practice to include a voice of someone affected by the issue in question – a very emotional one in this case – at the end of a news piece.

      “The last 5 paragraphs are also negative for Trump.” What do you mean by negative?

      The last 5 paragraphs are reporting Democrats’ responses and a Dreamer’s reaction to the White House’s proposals. Whether they reflect “negatively” on President Trump may be a matter of where you fall on the political spectrum. Higher up, I included statements of support for the proposals from high-ranking Republicans. Later, I also included Republicans’ reactions to the deal which, in my opinion, are as damning (if not more) of President Trump as those made by Democrats.

  3. Rewrite

    Hallo George and team … suggest an explainer phrase, perhaps after first or second mention of Dreamers: ‘so-called because of a failed attempt to deal with their situation, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act’.
    All in the interests of leaving no questions hanging, and because Dreamers is a fanciful word.
    All best
    Angela

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