White House Plan Calls for Path to Citizenship for 1.8 Million Dreamers
But there’s a catch.
After President Donald Trump hinted at a path to citizenship for Dreamers yesterday, the White House presented Congress with a plan doing just that this afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
A White House official said in a conference call with members of Congress that the proposal is “a compromise position that we believe… will lead to passage of a law,” AP reports.
The proposal, however, is likely to face resistance from Democrats because it calls for a $25 billion trust fund for border defense, an end to the visa lottery system, and the elimination of some forms of family-based migration, AP reports.
The Democrats have insisted in the past that they want the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) to be indefinitely reinstated without immigration enforcement or restriction demands being added to legislation.
The White House said that the proposal isn’t up for debate, according to the New York Times.
“We will oppose it. Most if not all Democrats will oppose it. Some Republicans will, too,” Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group, told the Times. “We are not going to allow Stephen Miller to exploit a crisis that he and his boss created to take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty and enact his nativist wish list.”
Some Republicans came out to support the proposal.
“Everybody wants to alter reality in a way that sort of suits their needs,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas told the Times. “But the reality is the president said there has to be four pillars. People just need to accept that and deal with it.”
Over the past several months Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children who are allowed to work and study through DACA — have been at the center of debates surrounding the future of immigration in the country.
The recent government shutdown was partly caused by indecision over the future of Dreamers.
Every Democrat – all forty nine of us @SenateDems – supports DACA. Many of my Republican colleagues do as well. We certainly can find a bill that will get sixty votes here in the Senate.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 24, 2018
Trump terminated the program last year and its deadline is approaching March 5, at which point DACA recipients could be deported.
There are more than 800,000 people who have signed up for DACA, and a total of 3.6 million people who qualify for the Dreamer status, according to USA Today. Additionally, there are around 11.3 million undocumented immigrants throughout the country.
The next deadline for the budget is Feb. 8 and it’s likely that once again immigration will be the fulcrum of debates.
Global Citizen campaigns on the UN’s Global Goals, which call for humane immigration policies. You can take action on this issue here.