President Trump returned to Twitter on Thursday to take aim at congressional Democrats, accusing them of standing in the way of an immigration deal.
Trump has proposed legal residency to younger undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers in exchange for sharp cuts to legal immigration programs and $25 billion to expand the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump urged his supporters to demand that the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats “work out a DACA fix, NOW!” But in reality, Trump is facing resistance from both parties to his deal.
Liberal groups have called Trump’s proposal an attempt to use dreamers as “ransom” for a “white-supremacist” agenda, while hard-line conservatives have denounced Trump’s support of “amnesty” for dreamers.
Trump Says GOP May Have to Compromise On Immigration, Unless It Wins Seats in November
President Trump told congressional Republicans on Thursday that they might have to compromise with Democrats to get a deal done on immigration. Or, he said, Republicans could work to increase their majority in the midterm elections, so “we don’t have to compromise so much.”
Trump’s speech at a Republican retreat set the tone for the strategy going into negotiations over the fate of the Dreamers. “We’re getting very little help from the Democrats, but I hope after I leave this room, we’re going to get a call from these people saying, ‘Let’s go,’ ” he said. “Or we have to elect many more Republicans. That’s another way of doing it.”
Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan Would Discriminate Against Minorities and Muslims
If implemented, the immigration plan pushed during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address would disproportionately bar people of African descent, Hispanics, Muslims and Catholics, according to a recent study.
The Center for Global Development found that the most recent immigration reform proposal would reduce black (non-Hispanic) immigration to the United States by 63.9% and Hispanic (any race) immigration by 58.2%. By contrast, white (non-Hispanic) immigration would only be reduced by 34.6%, less than any of the other groups covered in the study. They were followed by Asians (non-Hispanic), who would see a 40.2% drop in their immigration numbers.
The survey also found that, among religious groups, the only two to see their numbers reduced by more than half were Muslims (who would experience a 53.2% reduction) and Catholics (who would experience a 53.8% reduction). Hindus, Jews and Protestants would all see the lowest impact.
McConnell: Shutdown Threat Over Immigration “Has Clearly Been Eliminated”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday predicted that Democrats won’t risk another government shutdown after they folded two weeks ago on their demands to add immigration legislation to a stopgap spending bill.
“I don’t think we’ll see a threat [of a] government shutdown again over this subject. One of my favorite old Kentucky country sayings is ‘there’s no education in the second kick of a mule,’ and so I think there will be a new level of seriousness here trying to resolve these issues,” McConnell told reporters at a Republican retreat at The Greenbrier resort.
He said the threat of a government shutdown to gain leverage in immigration talks “has clearly been eliminated.”
ICE Says It Won’t Make Immigration Sweeps at Courthouses
Federal immigration officials, criticized for authorizing arrests at courthouses, say their agents will enter court buildings to seize specific immigrants but will not conduct sweeps in search of anyone else who is undocumented.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “will not make civil immigration arrests inside courthouses indiscriminately,” the agency said in a policy statement distributed Wednesday. “ICE officers and agents should generally avoid enforcement actions in courthouses, or areas within courthouses that are dedicated to non-criminal (i.e. family court, small claims court) proceedings.”
Agents can go to courthouses to arrest immigrants who are wanted for crimes, are members of gangs, have ignored deportation orders or are “public safety threats,” the agency said, but others encountered in the courthouse, such as the immigrant’s relatives and friends, will not be picked up unless they pose a threat to public safety or interfere with the agents.
Feds Formalize Plan to Pursue Certain Undocumented Immigrants in Courthouses
Federal immigration officers will continue their practice of going into federal, state and local courthouses seeking to arrest undocumented immigrants, despite the objections of immigrant advocates and some judges, including the chief justice of California.
In a two-page policy directive signed by the deputy director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, agents will take “actions against specific, targeted aliens with criminal convictions, gang members, national security or public safety threats, aliens who have been ordered removed from the United States but have failed to depart, and aliens who have re-entered the country illegally after being removed, when ICE officers or agents have information that leads them to believe the targeted aliens are present at that specific location.”
Under the directive, ICE agents are to be discreet “to minimize their impact on court proceedings” and will, when possible, operate in nonpublic areas of the courthouses in collaboration with local court security staff.
ICE Chief Warns Illegal Immigration “Not Going to Be Ok Anymore”
In a fiery speech to hundreds of law enforcement officers, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement excoriated the political enablers of illegal immigration on Wednesday, saying he’ll “never back down” from safeguarding the border.
Speaking at the Border Security Expo in San Antonio, Thomas Homan singled out sanctuary cities and the ongoing congressional debate over Dreamers.
“If we get a clean DACA bill, shame on all of us,” Homan said, referring to the Obama administration’s contentious Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “You can’t address DACA and reward people that brought children here illegally and not address underlying reasons of DACA.”
Cuban Man Held by Immigration Authorities Dies in Custody
Yulio Castro Garrido, 33, who had been held at an immigration detention center in Georgia, died Tuesday night at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a news release. Castro had been convicted in December 2016 of conspiracy to transport and move an undocumented immigrant within the United States and was sent to federal prison, ICE said.
He was being held at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia when medical staff diagnosed him with pneumonia, ICE said. He was taken to a hospital in Cuthbert on Jan. 7 and initially resisted treatment, causing his condition to worsen, the agency said. He was transferred to a hospital in Albany on Jan. 9 and put on a ventilator to stabilize him.
After being transferred to Jacksonville on Jan. 17, ICE said Castro slipped into a coma Jan. 22 and never regained consciousness. ICE said it is reviewing Castro’s death, which is standard procedure for deaths in custody.
Calls Grow for LULAC President to Resign Over Immigration Letter to Trump
Members of the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization demanded the resignation of the group’s president and its board and CEO repudiated his statements endorsing President Donald Trump’s demands for a border wall, visa restrictions and other immigration measures.
Six Midwest state directors of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) demanded the immediate resignation of LULAC national President Roger Rocha Jr. for telling Trump in an official letter that LULAC supports his immigration plan.
The LULAC Young Adults, Collegiate LULAC and LULAC California District 17 council also demanded his resignation.