The White House unveiled its proposed immigration legislation framework on Thursday, 25 January — a list of major and minor overhauls officials say the president will require from any bill protecting young immigrants known as “Dreamers.”
Here’s what the White House has proposed:
The plan would provide an eventual path to citizenship for approximately 1.8 million individuals currently living illegally in the country.
That includes the nearly 700 000 immigrants who received protection from deportation and work permits under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Trump canceled the programme last year but gave Congress until March to come up with a legislative fix.
Others, including individuals who were eligible for DACA but didn’t apply, would be covered.
The path to citizenship would take 10 to 12 years and would include requirements for work, education and “good moral character.” Status could be revoked if immigrants commit crimes or raise national security concerns.
Parents of immigrants would not receive any legal status.
BORDER SECURITY AND ENFORCEMENT
Trump wants Congress to put $25 billion in a “trust fund” to pay for a “border wall system” along the US-Mexico border, as well as security enhancements on the border with Canada.
The plan calls for unspecified funds to hire new immigration enforcement officers, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorneys, immigration judges and prosecutors.
And it calls for an end of “catch-and-release,” ”closing legal loopholes that have eroded our ability to secure the immigration system and protect public safety,” deterring “visa overstays with expedited removal” and instituting “immigration court reforms to improve efficiency and prevent fraud and abuse.”
Those measures are broad, but, immigration activists fear, could amount to the build-up of a “deportation force” and new restrictions to due process.
RESTRICTING LEGAL IMMIGRATION
Immigrants would no longer be able to sponsor their parents, siblings or adult children to join them in the US. Sponsorship would be limited to spouses and minor children, dramatically limiting immigration categories.
Those currently in the pipeline would still be processed.
ENDING THE DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY
A visa lottery aimed at increasing diversity would be eliminated. The visas they would have received will be used to clear other backlogs.