Trump releases list of demands in exchange for DACA deal
The Trump administration is seeking to drive a hard bargain on immigration as lawmakers try to hammer out a deal to protect the so-called Dreamers covered by the Obama-era DACA policy.
President Donald Trump has unveiled a list of immigration priorities he says must be included as part of any legislative package extending protections for the young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The White House's policy demands cover both legal and illegal immigration. They include the construction of a Southern border wall, a crackdown on unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally, and the hiring of more immigration judges and enforcement agents. The administration is also seeking an overhaul of the green card program and of the asylum system, as well as the expansion of the "expedited removal" process that expels non-citizens from the country, among other demands.
Angel Reyes-Rivas, a 27-year-old who owns his own Glen Cove business repairing cellphones, numbers among the Dreamers. He's been allowed to live and work in the country for years without fear of deportation. President Trump set a March deadline for the program to be abolished unless a deal is in place.
"I believe that's not right. It's not a partisan thing. It's a human compassion thing," Reyes-Rivas says.
Reyes-Rivas was able to renew his DACA work permit before the president made his announcement, so he has another two years. But others may not be as lucky.
"It just tells me we are still on that agenda to persecute and criminalize our community," Reyes-Rivas says. "We are fighting for this nation to remain a nation that welcomes immigrants, to remain as a nation that is about liberty, progress and opportunity."
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) says the policies set forth by the administration are not anti-immigrant, but are simply enforcement measures to protect communities and strengthen the border. King says he's confident a deal will be reached and the Dreamers will be protected.
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) tells News 12 she is calling for both parties to reject the president's demands and to protect Dreamers.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) says there's no deal in place, but all parties, including the president, are sharing their ideas on how to fix the flaws in the immigration system.
Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.