• Trump seeks border wall in exchange for ‘Dreamers’ deal

    WASHINGTON – President Trump Sunday released a long wish-list of immigration priorities he wants Congress to pass if he’s to sign into law protections for Dreamers.

    Trump wants to block federal funding for sanctuary cities — like New York City — to crackdown on unaccompanied minor children crossing the border and to unravel family-based legal immigration in favor of a merit-based program.

    And, notably Trump demanded Congress fund his border wall, which Mexico was supposed to pay for.

    “We are recommending the construction of a border wall along our southern border which will be an invaluable tool to deter human trafficking, drug trafficking and the spread of deadly cartel violence,” Ron Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, announced Sunday.

    “The success of border walls are undeniable from the perspective of the operators,” Vitiello added.

    Democrats immediately balked the conservative wish list of priorities, especially since they believe they had forged a deal with Trump earlier that Dreamers would not be held ransom for a border wall.

    “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,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement Sunday. “This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.

    “The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so.”

    Trump announced earlier this year he’s axing the Obama-era deportation protection program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. He called it an illegal administrative action, but urged Congress to codify the program to protect the young immigrants.

    But the White House Sunday stopped short of offering the 800,000 recipients a chance to become full US citizens, rather just legal status.

    “We are not interested in granting citizenship,” a White House official said.

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