The Trump Administration Wants to Holds Dreamers Hostage to Advance a Sweeping Restrictionist Agenda

Nativists have taken charge of immigration in the White House


This week the Trump administration released its list of "border security" conditions in exchange for legalizing

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Dreamers—folks brought to this country without authorization as children—who will otherwise face deportation in March. That's when Trump's decision to scrap the Obama-era DACA program giving them a temporary reprieve from deportation will go into effect.

But Trump's list of conditions seems less like an opening bid for an eventual compromise and more like a ransom note by a hostage taker, I note in my Week column. That's not a surprise given that ultra-restrictionist White House aide Stephen Miller concocted the list in conjunction with ultra-restrictionist Congressman Tom Cotton. But it's conditions have nothing to do with enhancing border security and everything to do with advancing a sweeping nativist agenda—and it'll criminalize far more immigrants than the Dreamers it will legalize.

The irony, however, is that some members of the Freedom Caucus—the alleged crusaders of fiscal responsibility—are threatening to shutdown the government if these conditions, including $20 billion for a border wall, are not embraced. In this instance, Democrats should respond in kind and threaten to shutdown the government too if these conditions are embraced!

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