White House Announces New Immigration Proposal

A new immigration proposal from the White House outlines a pathway to citizenship for nearly 1.8 million young people who were brought to the United States as children, and the proposal will be introduced next week to Congress, USA Today reports.

In exchange, however, the White House has requested funds for a border wall, as well as restrictions on certain immigration policies.

According to ABC News, the new immigration proposal requests $20 billion from Congress for the construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico. This is an increase from the $18 billion that the Department of Homeland had requested in recent weeks, according to USA Today, but the plan also includes improvements to points of entry on the Canadian border. The White House is also requesting an additional $5 billion for border security measures, ABC News reports.

The plan also demands significant cuts for family-based immigration, so only spouses and children of immigrants can enter the country with their family sponsor, ABC News reports. According to analysis conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, this proposal would cut immigration by nearly a quarter of the total amount of immigrants allowed to enter the United States each year, USA Today reports.

The proposal also calls for an end to the Visa Lottery system. The diversity visa lottery system grants nearly 50,000 visas to immigrants from countries that are under-represented in the United States, USA Today reports. According to White House senior advisor Stephen Miller who held the briefing on the new proposal, the White House plans to shift these slots to family-based and high-skilled visas.

According to ABC News, in return for these changes to the immigration system, the White House has announced the President Trump would sign an immigration bill that would create a 10-12 year pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, “with requirements for work, education and good moral character” outlined in the proposal.

However, the proposal was met with opposition on both sides of the aisle.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter, “By ending DACA, @realdonaldtrump subjected 800k Dreamers to deportation. Now he wants to hold them hostage to Steven Miller’s anti-immigrant wish list. It’s insulting. We already have a bipartisan solution to the Trump-created crisis: it’s called the Dream Act. #DreamActNow”

According to ABC News, Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters on Capitol Hill that he did not support the plan.

“I do not believe we should be granting a path to citizenship to anybody here illegally,” Cruz said. “Doing so is inconsistent with the promises we made to the men and women who elected us.”

“Some folks on the far left of the Democratic party — if they’re sincere in their care of DACA recipients, they’re going to have to acknowledge the election results and understand a bill under a Trump administration is going to be a serious immigration reform bill different than if Hillary Clinton had gotten elected,” a White House official said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with other Republican Congressmembers, was supportive of the new outline from the White House.

McConnell applauded Trump for laying out his immigration objectives. "I am hopeful that as discussions continue in the Senate on the subject of immigration, Members on both sides of the aisle will look to this framework for guidance as they work towards an agreement," McConnell said in his statement.