U.S. President Donald Trump is demanding funding to support his proposed border wall with Mexico and other immigration policies that he intends to push through in exchange for a deal that safeguards "dreamers" from deportation.
Trump was recently slammed for failing to uphold a commitment he made last month involving the protection of around 800,000 illegal immigrants who entered the country as children. The president previously agreed to exclude negotiations over the status of the dreamers with his border wall project.
The dreamers' protection depends on the actuation of Trump's list of demands.
The list the White House submitted to Congress includes the construction of the wall, the employment of 10,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and 1,000 lawyers, as well as the hiring of 370 immigration judges and 300 federal prosecutors. Trump also demands to ban immigrants from bringing extended members of the family into the country.
The president intends to penalize so-called "sanctuary cities" that would go against the administration's efforts to ban illegal immigrants. And he wants to set-up an E-Verify program that would keep these illegal settlers from getting jobs.
"These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients," Trump said in a letter attached to his demands.
Leading Democrats in Congress are against Trump's proposals. In a joint statement, they said that the plans present no attempt at compromise.
White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, on the other hand, believes the list is "essential to mitigate" the protection of 800,000 dreamers.
The Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was launched in 2012, allowed dreamers to apply for work and study permits. But that was scrapped last month by the Trump administration. And with its impending expiration, hundreds of thousands of young immigrants now face the possibility of deportation.