Some notable immigration hawks in Congress are showing support for President Donald Trump’s new immigration plan, which backs a path to citizenship for 1.8 million so-called Dreamers, a senior White House aide said Sunday.
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short rallied support for Trump’s immigration plan, which was released Thursday. It calls for a path to citizenship for 1.8 million people brought to the United States as children. The figure is more than double the 690,000 people currently enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative. Trump’s plan also requests $25 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as funds to hire additional security personnel.
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“We can help to fix this problem once and for all,” Short said. “Conservatives recognize the benefit of really securing our border and helping to fix these long-term problems. So, yes, I think we are going to get widespread support on our side.”
“The question is are Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi willing to provide cover to their members from the radical left-wing base,” he said, referring to the top Democrats in the Senate and House, respectively.
The plan would limit family-based immigration to spouses and minor children, cutting out parents, siblings and adult children (what the administration calls “extended-family chain migration”). The changes would be applied in such a way that people in the “backlog” would continue to be processed. The diversity visa lottery would be eliminated, and visas would be redistributed to clear backlogs for family- and employment-based visas.
While the plan won support from immigration hawks Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), some conservative groups, including Heritage Action for America, criticized Trump’s plan as “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants.
On Jan. 9, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction limiting Trump’s phase-out of DACA by March 5.
Short acknowledged Trump’s deadline date to end DACA has been halted by the court. But if that ruling is overturned by another court, “that program will end immediately,” he said.
Launched in 2012 by the Obama administration, DACA gives people who came to the U.S. as children relief from deportation; it does not give legal immigration status. Work authorization can be renewed every two years.
If DACA dies, its recipients could be deported if they are found to be in the U.S. without proper legal status.
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