Pelosi on Trump's DACA principles: 'They are trash'

Pelosi on Trump's DACA principles: 'They are trash'
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday hammered the Trump administration’s new immigration principles, saying they are, quite literally, garbage.
 
“They are not principles, they are trash,” Pelosi said during a press event on immigration in the Capitol.
 
“Each one of them is horrible, but the cumulative effect of them would destroy a fundamental part of the American character: a free nation proud of an immigrant heritage.”
 
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Pelosi, along with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.), had met with President Trump last month at the White House, where the three forged a tentative deal to couple legal protections for young, undocumented immigrants with tougher security measures — excluding Trump’s promised border wall.
 
The White House principles, issued Sunday, comprise a long list of hard-line security measures designed to seal the nation’s borders and crack down on undocumented immigrants. The list includes a number of provisions the Democrats have rejected out of hand, including new wall construction, raising questions about whether the sides can bridge their differences and reach a compromise on protecting so-called Dreamers.
 
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said Democrats are open to certain security and enforcement enhancements as part of legislation protecting those enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Trump dismantled last month. 
 
But the White House’s enforcement-heavy principles, she charged, “are completely and holistically unrelated to the issue of Dreamers, and are a clear statement that this is an anti-immigration administration.”
 
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) was even more biting, saying the White House tenets are simply red meat to Trump’s conservative base — a strategy that treats the Dreamers like “a political football.”
 
“This cruel proposal … is literally a love letter to white supremacists,” she said. “This is not serious policy, and once again this president and his advisers are playing to a shrinking minority of their base.”
 
Unveiled Sunday night ahead of the Columbus Day holiday, the White House principles feature measures to complete construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, withhold federal funding from “sanctuary cities,” hire 10,000 new border-enforcement agents and expedite the deportation of those who cross the border illegally.
 
The package was cheered by a handful of conservative Republicans, who deem any legal protections for Dreamers to be “amnesty” for lawbreakers.
 
GOP leaders, however, have remained notably silent, deferring instead to a 10-member immigration working group created last month by Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) to respond to Trump’s challenge of protecting the DACA recipients.
 
The members of the task force, who encompass a spectrum of ideologies, have been silent about their meetings to date. But several members suggested Wednesday that they consider the White House principles to be the administration’s starting point in negotiations, rather than a rigid set of demands from which the White House won’t sway.
 
“They’re just the things that the White House would like to see. … It’s like everything else, this is a process, and nobody gets 100 percent of what they want,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.).
 
“How do we look at all the president’s budgets? We look at them with great respect and reverence, and then we do what we have to do. On all these issues it’s the same. This is nothing they can impose on Congress, it’s just the reality.”
 
Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and another member of the GOP task force, sent a similar signal.
 
“We’re going to be putting a fresh pair of eyes on it,” he said. “I just think that’s what they’d like to see get done.”
 
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), perhaps the most vocal defender of Dreamers on Capitol Hill, said there’s a reason for the Republicans’ reticence surrounding their immigration plan.
 
“Because they have absolutely nothing positive to say,” he said. 
 
“A politician never stays quiet when he has something positive to say.”