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Hector Figueroa: Trump’s immigration demands are ‘devil’s bargain’

Stephon Johnson | 10/12/2017, 3:57 p.m.
Sunday, President Donald Trump released a 70-point list of immigration demands that have drawn the ire of Democratic politicians and ...

Sunday, President Donald Trump released a 70-point list of immigration demands that have drawn the ire of Democratic politicians and one labor leader.

Trump’s list of demands includes funding for a wall along the southern border and a crackdown on sanctuary cities. White House officials see the list of demands as the opening shot in the beginning of negotiations that would end in a new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program deal. Trump’s demands also include the “prompt removal of minors and relatives crossing border illegally” and the removal of people who have overstayed their visas.

32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa said that Trump’s action is an ongoing violation of everything the country holds dear.

“Trump’s immigration principles are a betrayal of core American values,” said Figueroa. “The president’s demands are nothing more than a laundry list of cruelty toward immigrants. Protecting Dreamers should not mean scapegoating and criminalizing their parents and millions of other immigrants. It should not mean funding an expansion of armed forces to further terrorize immigrant communities or money for his ridiculous wall.” The White House officials eventually sent a press release with quotes from Trump’s own cabinet members praising the president for his immigration priorities list.

“The president’s new immigration priorities are focused on keeping Americans safe, ensuring our sovereignty through strong borders and preserving our country as a nation of laws,” said Tillerson in a statement. “The first duty of the federal government is to provide for the national security of the American people, and President Trump’s measures will end vulnerabilities in our immigration system that hinder our ability to protect our homeland.”

White House officials also noted that Congress passed legislation for a southern border fence during the George W. Bush administration, but its construction wasn’t completed. The Trump administration mentioned this fence to remind Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that he voted for that bill. Trump reneged on a verbal agreement with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi from several weeks ago when he said he’s open to an extension of DACA in exchange for border security measures.

None of it matters to Figueroa, who reminded the president of his unpopularity.

“In this form, the president’s devil’s bargain on immigration will be roundly rejected in Congress, and by voters, just as his other policies have been,” Figueroa stated. “Ironically, the same evening that President Trump released his anti-immigrant wish list, his lowest approval rating to date was also released. With an overwhelming majority of Americans supporting legislation to keep Dreamers from being deported, Trump’s immigration list is just one more way he is out of step.”