Oct. 9 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump said he wants Democrats to back his border wall in exchange for allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay -- but Democratic Party leaders shunned the deal Sunday night.
In addition to full funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the White House also called for other reforms -- including extra funds to hire thousands more border agents, a revamp of the asylum system and revoking federal grants to cities that don't fully cooperate with federal immigration officials, known as "sanctuary cities."
The White House also said it wants legislation to more quickly deport undocumented immigrant children apprehended at the border. Under current law, those children are usually handed over to any relatives already residing in the United States while their immigration case moves through the courts.
In exchange, Trump would back legislation for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides legal immigrant status to "Dreamers" -- about 800,000 undocumented migrants protected by the program already living in the United States.
"These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients," Trump said in a letter to Congress. "Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end."
A White House aide told the Washington Post that the administration is"not interested in granting a path to citizenship," which some Democrats say is a priority.
"The administration can't be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans," Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement. "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. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.
"If the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so."