WASHINGTON -- US President Donald Trump sent Congress his immigration legislation priorities Sunday, including building a controversial border wall, speeding up deportations and dramatically increasing the number of officials involved in enforcement.
The list, which also includes preventing immigrants from sponsoring their extended families to move to the US, drew immediate fire from Democratic leaders in Congress, who said it goes “far beyond what is reasonable.”
The administration tied its priorities to Democrats’ desire to provide legal protection to some 690,000 immigrants known as “Dreamers” who came to the country illegally as children and were covered by an amnesty by former president Barack Obama that Trump scrapped last month.
“These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients,” Trump wrote in a letter to Congress accompanying the list, using the official name for the amnesty order.
The White House list is topped by “border security,” a category that includes building a massive wall on the southern US border that Trump promised would be paid for by Mexico, which has said it will not do so.
Trump also wants to dramatically ramp up the number of officials involved in enforcement, hiring an additional 10,000 Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers and 1,000 attorneys, 370 immigration judges and 300 federal prosecutors.
And he hopes to prevent immigrants from sponsoring extended family members to move to the US, limiting such green cards to spouses and children, as well as to close “loopholes” that prevent the deportation of children who enter the country illegally.
The list includes financially targeting “sanctuary cities” that have resisted the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants.