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The White House Says It Supports Giving Citizenship To 1.8 Million DREAMers

Friday - 26/01/2018 21:52
A one-page document released by the White House proposes legalizing 1.8 million undocumented immigrants in exchange for a $25 billion fund for border security, including the wall.

The White House on Thursday proposed legislation that would provide 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought to the US illegally as children a path to citizenship, in exchange for a $25 billion "trust fund" for border security and significant cuts to family-based immigration.

The one-page framework released by the Trump administration calls for increased funding of federal immigration authorities and speeding up the deportation of undocumented immigrants in exchange for legalizing a group of young immigrants with a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship.

White House officials said the proposal would benefit recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as other DREAMers who were eligible for the program but didn’t apply.

The news comes a day after President Trump said that he is open to a pathway to citizenship for a group of younger immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children. In impromptu remarks to reporters at the White House Wednesday, Trump said that protections for recipients of the DACA program could “morph into” citizenship over a decade.

The $25 billion "trust fund" would go toward the US “border wall system” and includes improvements along the northern border, according to the White House document. It also calls for the prompt removal of undocumented immigrants regardless of what countries they came from.

The Trump administration is also proposing restricting family-based immigration, or "chain migration" as it has been pejoratively called, to only spouses and children of citizens and lawful permanent residents. The move would drastically change the current immigration system, which allows citizens to sponsor siblings, parents, and married adult children. It also allows green card holders to sponsor a spouse, unmarried children under 21, and unmarried adult sons or daughters.

The move would cut in half the 1 million immigrants granted lawful permanent residency annually by eliminating family sponsorship beyond spouses and minor kids, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

The legislation, which was similar to a previous bipartisan Senate proposal, also calls for the elimination of the diversity visa lottery. The program allows as many as 50,000 people into the US annually by taking applications from residents of countries that send few immigrants to the US in the previous five years.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Doug Andres, spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan, lauded the White House plan.

“We’re grateful for the president showing leadership on this issue and believe his ideas will help us ultimately reach a balanced solution,” Andres said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

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