White House details demands as part of DACA deal

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday sent a key group of senators the Trump administration’s list of priorities for any immigration deal.
The seven-page document, which was released by Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) office, includes the U.S.-Mexico border wall, tightening the rules for allowing unaccompanied minors to enter the country and limiting “chain migration,” which allows citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members.
The document also details limiting funding for cities that don’t comply with federal immigration law and cracking down on visa overstays.
“The southwest border security requirements were developed through a rigorous assessment. … They reflect the need for substantial investment to significantly enhance border security toward the standard of operational control directed by the president,” Benjamin Cassidy, DHS’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs, wrote in a letter to Durbin.
The letter and document come after several senators met with White House chief of staff John Kelly last month before the holiday recess.
Senators said Kelly promised that he would give them a list of the administration’s requirements for any deal pairing legislative solutions for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with a border security package.
A spokesman for Sen. Jeff Flake confirmed on Friday that the Arizona Republican, who organized the December meeting with Kelly, also received a letter and documents in response to his request for the administration’s border security asks.
Durbin ripped the Trump administration’s request, saying the president appeared willing to shut down the government in order to get the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
“President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall. With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction,” he said.
He added that it is “outrageous that the White House would undercut months of bipartisan efforts by again trying to put its entire wish-list of hardline anti-immigrant bills — plus an additional $18 billion in wall funding — on the backs of these young people.”
The White House’s list appears to be the same wide-ranging demands the administration released in October.
The White House document, released by Durbin’s office, was created on Oct. 8 with Stephen Miller, a White House aide known for conservative immigration views, listed as its author. 
Asked earlier this week if the White House would be sending a new list, a White House spokesman noted to The Hill that the administration had already sent Congress its demand in October. 
The documents come as a bipartisan group of senators, including Durbin and Flake, are expected to meet with Trump next week to try to hash out a DACA deal. 
Senators have been negotiating behind closed doors for months but so far struggled to reach a deal. 
Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) said in a joint statement after a Republican-only White House meeting that the two sides remained far apart on border security.
“More work remains ahead,” the two said.
The Trump administration announced last year that it was ending DACA, which allows certain immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to work and go to school here if they meet certain requirements.
Congress has until mid-March to pass a legislative fix or hundreds of thousands of immigrants will be at risk of being deported.
Tags Border wall DACA deferred action for childhood arrivals Dick Durbin Dick Durbin Donald Trump Donald Trump Immigration James Lankford Jeff Flake Jeff Flake John Kelly Thom Tillis
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