The White House revealed a proposal to extend legal status and a path for citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought to the country as children in exchange for $25 billion in funding for the wall, an end to chain migration across the board, and an end to the visa lottery program.
Amnesty after a decade
Trump’s support for “dreamers” who have been in the country illegally since they were children represents a significant concession to Democrats and was intended as a compromise to help break the impasse over immigration in Congress, White House aides said Thursday. The bill’s framework would apply to the roughly 690,000 illegal immigrants who registered for the DACA program started by former President Barack Obama as well as illegal immigrants who did not apply.According to the memo provided by the White House, Trump’s proposal would not only grant a conditional pathway to citizenship for the 690,000 Dreamers, who gained temporary legal status under an Obama-era program and whose fate has been hotly debated for months, but also a much broader group of those who were brought to the US illegally as children. Under the plan, the immigrants could become citizens over a 10 to 12 year period if they met certain requirements and maintained good standing with the law.
The officials said that the president hopes McConnell will bring a bill based on the framework to the floor the week of Feb. 6, just days before a Feb. 8 deadline for a must-pass spending bill to keep the government open. Many Democrats and some Republicans said they will not support a long-term spending bill without an immigration deal.
Here’s what Trump wants in exchange for amnesty
The Trump administration is demanding a $25bn “trust fund” to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border and upgrade security at ports of entry and exit along the country’s northern and southern borders. It also includes sweeping limitations for chain migration — limiting family immigration sponsorships to only spouses and minor children — not for parents or extended family members. Another potential sticking point centers on Trump’s proposal to end a diversity visa lottery that has awarded about 50,000 green cards annually to foreigners from countries with low immigration rates to the United States, including many African nations.Under Trump’s plan, those visas would go toward speeding up a waiting-list backlog of up to 4 million family members of U.S. citizens who have already applied for green cards. Trump would allow those family members’ applications to be processed even as he terminates some family categories.