House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the comments during a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, days after the Trump administration released a long list of tough security measures to crack down on undocumented immigrants.
“They are not principles, they are trash,” said the California Democrat. “Each one of them is horrible, but the cumulative effect of them would destroy a fundamental part of the American character: a free nation proud of an immigrant heritage.”
The new principles, released by the White House on Sunday, include measures for Trump’s promised wall to be constructed on the Mexican border along with features to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary cities,” hire 10,000 new border-enforcement agents and expedite the deportation of those who enter the country illegally.
‘Love letter to white supremacists’
Trump met with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer last month to couple legal protections for undocumented youths along with tougher security measures, excluding Trump’s border wall.
Before that, he ordered to dismantle the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was supposed to protect nearly 800,000 immigrants, brought to the US as children, from deportation.
The businessman-turned-president has vowed to crack down on immigration but has failed to get his complete agenda through so far.
According to Washington Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal, Trump’s new proposal is “cruel” and practically “a love letter to white supremacists.”
“This is not serious policy, and once again this president and his advisers are playing to a shrinking minority of their base,” she said.
Some Republicans, meanwhile, are suggesting that the rigid set of demands are not serious and merely signify a starting point in negotiations.
“They’re just the things that the White House would like to see. … It’s like everything else, this is a process, and nobody gets 100 percent of what they want,” said Florida Republican Representative Mario Diaz-Balart.
A similar signal was sent by Texas Republican Representative Mike McCaul.
“We’re going to be putting a fresh pair of eyes on it,” he said. “I just think that’s what they’d like to see get done.”
Some conservatives, however, threw their full support behind the new principles, arguing that any legal protections for the so-called Dreamers is nothing but amnesty for lawbreakers.