Chuck Schumer thought he had Donald Trump cornered.
He and Nancy Pelosi announced a plan to grant amnesty to over one million illegal immigrants and thought they could force Trump to go along for the ride.
But then Schumer and Pelosi suffered an unexpected defeat that no one saw coming.
While Schumer and Pelosi crowed about a deal to grant amnesty to the so-called “DREAMers” in exchange for a fig leaf of border security, the Trump administration announced they were going to release a set of immigration principles that would have to be included in any deal.
The swamp in Washington figured Trump would offer up the same meaningless “border security” sops such as money for more ICE agents that are thrown to every amnesty bill so open border politicians can claim they have “secured the border.”
Not so fast.
When Trump released his list of principles, Washington was stunned.
A demand to build the wall was included.
So was cutting legal immigration by half and instituting a nationwide e-verify.
Trump also called for tougher crackdowns on visa overstays and the ability to more quickly remove unaccompanied minors who flooded the country on the promise of gaining future amnesty.
“The principles also include an overhaul of the asylum system, including tougher penalties for asylum fraud, and speedier deportations for unaccompanied minors who arrive at the border. Current laws allow unaccompanied migrant children from countries other than Canada or Mexico to stay in the United States, usually with a sponsor, until they can get a hearing in immigration court. That process can take years.
The administration is also calling for cutting off key federal grants for sanctuary cities, empowering state and local governments to enforce immigration law and requiring employers to use E-Verify, a workplace verification system that checks whether an employee can work legally in the United States. Such policies that beef up interior enforcement are deal-breakers for Democrats and had been ruled out at Trump’s dinner with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to Democrats.
Trump wants 370 new judges to oversee immigration cases, as well as 1,000 additional attorneys at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and 10,000 more ICE agents to ramp up deportation efforts. Some of these provisions are a boost from what the administration has previously proposed; for instance, Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget had called for adding just over 200 people to ICE’s prosecution office.
The list also calls for an overhaul of the legal immigration system by allowing U.S. citizens to sponsor only spouses and minor children for permanent residency and creating a points-based merit system for green cards.
The administration also wants lawmakers to end the diversity visa lottery — which doles out visas to immigrants from countries traditionally underrepresented in the United States — and to set the ceiling for refugees “at an appropriate level.” The White House plans to limit the number of refugees in fiscal 2018 to just 45,000 — the lowest level since at least 1980.”
Pelosi and Schumer released a statement condemning the wish list as unreasonable.
But Trump blasted Democrats for refusing to care about border security.
The problem with agreeing to a policy on immigration is that the Democrats don't want secure borders,they don't care about safety for U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Democrats figured Trump for a typical Republican pushover on immigration.
Instead, Trump stood firm by his campaign pledge to crackdown on immigration – both legal and illegal – and implement policies that put America First.