President Donald Trump’s immigration priorities released Sunday clearly take a page out of his bestselling book, “The Art Of The Deal.”
“My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward,” Trump wrote in his 1987 bestseller. “I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”
The White House’s list of immigration priorities to Congressional leaders Sunday aims quite high. “It’s not quite the ‘In Trump We Trust’ Trump, but at least it’s not ‘Marco Rubio Trump,'” conservative author Ann Coulter told The Daily Caller Monday.
The 70-point immigration plan includes a border wall funding request, the hiring of 10,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, eliminating loopholes to make it simpler to deport unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors and implementing a merit-based immigration system that would likely halve legal immigration.
“It’s not what I want and it’s not as tough as what Trump campaigned on — and won on — but every single one of these proposals is 70-80 percent popular with Americans,” Coulter said. A September poll found that just 12 percent of Americans are against the government limiting legal immigration, while 57 percent would support such an initiative.
A cover letter sent to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “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 announced in September that he will phase out the DACA amnesty that protects roughly 800,000 illegal immigrants from deportation and has called on Congress to “legalize” the program. The White House has claimed it doesn’t support granting citizenship, yet giving legal status likely means eventual citizenship.
“We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Schumer responded in a statement Sunday night. “This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”
Democratic Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez went a step further and told The Washington Post, “It’s an extension of the white supremacist agenda — what they want to do is criminalize and delegitimize Latinos.”
The president will likely need some Democrat votes in the Senate in order to pass immigration reform, and the Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian laid out in the National Review how Trump’s negotiation strategy will work against Democrats.
“First of all, this list, even if just theoretical, is better than anything ¡Jeb! or Rubio or even Cruz would have come up with. And if you’re going to negotiate, you don’t start by offering a proposal that’s preemptively watered down,” Krikorian wrote.
He went on to write: “The Democrats have, of course, denounced the White House ‘anti-immigrant wishlist’ as dead on arrival…Since the Republican leadership is eager to surrender on DACA, and even the White House is probably willing to take something less than the full list they outlined Sunday, that means if there’s no DACA fix passed by March (when DACA work permits start expiring at the rate of a few hundred a day), it will be the Democrats’ intransigence that’s the cause.”