US President Donald Trump is offering a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young illegal immigrants but insists on measures that would curb some legal immigration programs and provide a border wall with Mexico, senior White House officials said on Thursday.
Officials said they expected McConnell to bring the president's plan to the Senate floor for a vote during the week of February 5, just days before the February 8 expiration of a short-term government spending plan.
"This is a clear signal the White House can't be relied upon to negotiate in good faith", Greg Chen, advocacy director for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said of Trump's tweet.
The president offered the plan on a few conditions. "They want the ransom for these children to be $25 billion dollars for a wall when we have all the needs that we have for infrastructure in our own country", she said.
"If they do a great job, I think it's a nice thing to have the incentive of, after a period of years, being able to become a citizen", Trump said Thursday.
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For one thing, though creating a path to citizenship for more immigrants is deeply necessary, Trump's plan doesn't go almost far enough, reaching fewer than 2 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Trump is the one who ended legal protections for immigrant youth in the first place, so improving those protections hardly qualifies as a compromise.
Democrats and immigration reform advocates say the Trump administration is holding DACA recipients hostage in order to enact an otherwise anti-immigrant agenda.
The Trump administration announced in September that it would be ending the program started in former President Barack Obama's term, but Trump delayed the move for six months so that Congress would have time to act. Trump allies Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., the Senate's leading immigration hawks, have both praised the framework as the foundation for an immigration reform bill that can get to 60 votes in the upper chamber.
Such immigrants can apply for legal status subject to meeting certain work and education requirements, to be determined by the Congress.
On the other side, immigration restrictionist groups with close ties to House conservatives also panned the deal, saying the cuts to legal immigration will take too long. The hugely influential Heritage Action for America said the framework opens a "Pandora's Box" of future immigration problems and called it a non-starter for negotiations over the soon-to-expire DACA. After President Trump's election, he unveiled a softer stance on immigration policy, claiming that he wanted to work with Congress to develop a program for Dreamers. Indeed, he believes there should be no path to citizenship for the DACA population, never mind the "Dreamers". Many of them should have $11,111 on hand. Ted Cruz. "Doing so is inconsistent with the promises we made to the men and women who elected us". Then it goes to the Hill and they digest it and develop a bill they think can pass.If it's realistic, he'll sign it. After all, the Dems will have turned down full relief for around two million young (and youngish) illegal immigrants in the name of chain migration, the diversity lottery, resisting the wall - none of which is terribly popular.