In Trump Proposal, Protection For 1.8 Million Current Immigrants Comes At A High Cost

The plan would protect DACA recipients and some others currently in the U.S., but would severely restrict future legal immigration – and add $25 billion in border wall funding.

By Jill Ament and Rhonda Fanning January 26, 2018 7:12 am, , ,

A new immigration proposal from the White House seems to be causing headaches on both sides of the aisle in Washington. The plan would provide DACA recipients a path to citizenship. In exchange for that concession to lawmakers who support the so-called Dreamers being allowed to remain in the U.S., Trump wants Congress to agree to a number of severe restrictions on legal immigration, along with $25 billion in funding to build the border wall.

Todd Gillman, Washington bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, says that ending family-based immigration – what hard-liners call “chain migration” – is a non-starter among Democrats.

“That’s a pretty tough deal for Democrats,” he says. “Not only would the bill protect the 1.8 million Dreamers, it actually would provide a path to citizenship over the course of 10-12 years, which is a very big prize.”

The Trump proposal would extend protections and a path to citizenship to those who received DACA protection as it existed before the administration canceled the program, as well as those who are eligible but never applied.

“It’s a surprising move,” Gillman says, “because it more than doubles the number of people that people expected the president would be willing to protect.”

Gillman says that despite the number of current immigrants who would benefit, the size and nature of the restrictions and border spending in the proposal make it a lopsided plan that mirrors the wish list of immigration hard-liners.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.