The White House pitched Congress a 70-point immigration reform wish list on Sunday for lawmakers to consider as they work on a legislative solution to the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The majority of the reforms outlined in the proposal are ideas Trump has previously called for while campaigning for president, such as building a border wall and cutting back on legal immigration. He proposed all of these ideas as possible conditions that would have to be met in return for legislating protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were minors.
But a few of those recommendations have never or rarely been mentioned by the Trump administration; nevertheless, they're ideas that crack down on illegal immigration and are expected to be favored by his supporters.
Here are seven unexpected asks:
1. A tougher stance on unaccompanied minors
Trump wants to better control the number of unaccompanied minors still showing up at the southwestern border by changing the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. That law requires all minors from noncontiguous countries be referred to Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement and placed in the care of a family member.
The administration wants all unaccompanied minors treated the same way the U.S. currently treats Mexicans and Canadians. Instead of being parolled into the country, unaccompanied minors from all countries would be screened within 48 hours of apprehension and returned if they were not trafficked, had not credible fear of returning, or could make a voluntary departure.
The number of unaccompanied minors being apprehended at the southwestern border has dropped significantly since January, after skyrocketing during the summer of 2014. In the first 11 months of fiscal year 2017, the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection agency reported 38,495 unaccompanied minors and 71,445 family units arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.
2. Make visa overstays a misdemeanor
The White House hopes to deter future visa overstayers, which make up 40 percent of illegal immigration, by making any overstay a misdemeanor. The government would be barred from bearing any legal costs involved with removal proceedings for visa overstayers.
If a visa overstayer has one more than nonimmigrant visa at the time one expires, all other documents will be canceled to prevent him or her from obtaining a new visa. For context, 628,000 immigrants overstayed their visas in fiscal year 2016 and the average case takes more than 600 days to complete.
3. More immigration court judges
Trump has previously called for additional Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, but now wants to hire additional court officials to address record-high immigration court backlogs. By hiring 370 more immigration judges, 1,000 ICE attorneys and 300 federal prosecutors, the government would be able to expedite the 270,000 pending cases in the asylum backlog before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as the 250,000 asylum cases before the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review.
4. Use fees to fund border enforcement
The Department of Homeland Security would raise fees from visa services and border crossings, and allocate those funds toward border security and enforcement activities. The White House's letter to Congress stated, "Build a southern border wall and authorize DHS to raise fees from the processing of immigration-benefit applications and border-crossings to be used for security and infrastructure." It's not clear which fees would be raised or the projects that funding would go toward.
5. Keep gang members out
People who have been convicted of certain crimes or have known gang ties would no longer be able to allowed to enter the U.S.. This would apply to anyone who has been convicted of an aggravated felony; identity theft; fraud related to Social Security benefits; domestic violence; child abuse; drunk driving offenses; failure to register as a sex offender; or certain firearm offenses, including the unlawful purchase, sale, possession, or carrying of a firearm.
Former spouses and children of individuals engaged in drug trafficking and trafficking in persons would also be prohibited from traveling to the U.S.. In addition, legal loopholes that allow "terrorist aliens" into the country would be closed.
6. Priority deportations
Illegal immigrants are gang members; been convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses or a single offense involving death or serious injury; and those who fail to register as a sex offender will be included as priority for deportation.
7. No more 'catch-and-release'
End "Catch-and-Release," which is the result of a 2001 Supreme Court decision that required ICE to release criminal aliens within 180 days if they had not been deported by then. In fiscal year 2017, which ended Sept. 30, 1,666 criminal immigrants were released back into the U.S. as a result of the policy.