Washington, Jan 26 (PTI) The Trump administration is open to a path to citizenship to some 1.8 million America’s so- called “Dreamers” in exchange of the USD 25 billion for construction of a wall along the Mexican border and other security measures, officials said today. Also Read - 'Another Phase of Greatest Witch Hunt', Says Donald Trump After US Senate Acquits Him in Historic Impeachment Trial
Such a proposal, senior White House officials said, comes days after the Democrats and Republicans agreed to bringing in an immigration bill on the floor before February 6 when the current short-term extension of funding of the government comes to an end. Also Read - US Court Seeks Status Report On Visas To Family Members Of H1-B Holders
Noting that the proposal would be handed over to the Senate, the officials hoped that the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would introduce it on the floor before February 6. Also Read - The Weeknd Performs Live At Super Bowl Halftime Show, Fans Share His Then-And-Now Photos
They described this as the Congress’s best chance to fix the immigration system that would benefit recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.
As per the proposal, the path to citizenship would be given to 6,90,000 immigrants covered by DACA or an estimated 1.1 million who are eligible but did not apply.
Such immigrants can apply for legal status subject to meeting certain work and education requirements, to be determined by the Congress.
The Obama-era DACA programme was ended by Trump last September.
“This truly represents a bi-partisan compromise position.
We have no doubt that if this legislation were brought to the floor, it would easily garner 60 votes,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
“This is the president’s position. 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. If not, he won’t,” he said.
Yesterday, Trump had told reporters that he was open to path to citizenship for some of the younger undocumented immigrants, but insisted that there would be no deal on it without a Congressional funding of a wall across the border with Mexico
“We’re going to morph into it. It’s going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years,” he told reporters during an impromptu news conference at the White House before he left for Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.
The White House is scheduled to roll out its immigration framework on Monday, which would be based on four agreed-upon pillars — securing the border and closing legal loopholes, ending extended-family chain migration, cancelling the visa lottery and providing a permanent solution on DACA.
Officials described it as an “extremely generous but a take it or leave it proposal by the US President” Democrats and pro-immigrants activists were quick in rejecting the proposal.
“We will oppose it. Most if not all Democrats will oppose it. Some Republicans will, too,” said Frank Sharry, from pro- immigrant America’s Voice.
“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,” he said.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham welcomed the proposal.
“I welcome White House input,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.