President Trump’s immigration plan is running into heavy opposition on and off Capitol Hill, suggesting the much-anticipated framework has failed to move the needle as a bipartisan group of senators try to negotiate a deal.
Trump’s one-page framework calls for granting a pathway to citizenship for nearly 2 million now-adult illegal aliens in exchange for tens of billions of dollars for his border wall and other policies that would dramatically restrict legal immigration in the coming years.
The president wants the Senate to draft legislation based on his blueprint and introduce it by Feb. 5, just three days before funding for the government runs out.
But the day-old plan is already taking heavy fire from both the right and the left, reports The Hill.
20 senators claim to be trying to hammer out an agreement to protect the Dreamers, but it’s clear the Trump outline — intended as an olive branch to Democrats — gets them no closer to a deal. One of the key negotiators of the group, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), warned that Trump’s plan places the White House’s “hardline immigration agenda … on the backs of these young people.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who will need to sign off on any DACA deal in the upper chamber, echoed those sentiments on Twitter on Friday. Trump is using DACA recipients as “a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system and adopt the wish list that anti-immigration hardliners have advocated for for years,” he wrote.
conservative outside groups, members of the House Freedom Caucus and other vocal immigration hard-liners all panned the White House plan, saying providing a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal aliens “Dreamers” amounted to “mass amnesty” for law breakers.
“Illegals have No Right to be here & have ALL violated our laws. This #Amnesty deal negotiates away American Sovereignty,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an immigration hawk, tweeted Friday.
Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that advocates for reduced immigration, had embraced an immigration proposal by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). That bill includes a path to legalization for nearly 800,000 illegal aliens DACA recipients — the first time since 1986 that NumbersUSA has supported any proposal along those lines.
But the White House proposal goes too far for Beck.
“NumbersUSA has no choice but to oppose what is being suggested as the White House ‘framework’ for a mass amnesty,” Beck said.
“The plan seems eerily similar to the blueprint used for the 2007 Bush-Kennedy amnesty, which appeared to end chain migration, but wouldn’t actually end it for 17 years. NumbersUSA mobilized our huge grassroots army to defeat the 2007 amnesty, and we will do the same if this plan is proposed next week,” he added.
The outside conservative group Heritage Action described Trump’s plan as a “non-starter” because it “expands the amnesty-eligible population,” while the head of the Center for Immigration Studies, an immigration restrictionist group, suggested Trump had betrayed the conservative base that had propelled him to the presidency.
“Time to start burning your #MAGA hats. Send pictures and I’ll retweet,” Mark Krikorian tweeted.
“This outline is bad news,” he told LifeZette Friday. But he added, “There’s nothing to go to war with until there’s an actual bill.”Under the emerging White House proposal, some 1.8 million illegal immigrants of “good moral character” who work or seek education would be eligible to apply for amnesty, which would allow them to legally live and work in the United States and then become citizens in 10 to 12 years.
In exchange, Congress would authorize a $25 billion trust fund to build a wall and pay for other border security measures. The diversity visa lottery would be ended, and the 50,000 green cards currently awarded randomly would be applied to a backlog of other legal immigration categories.
Congress would close loopholes that make it hard to deport certain groups of border-crossings, such as unaccompanied minors from Central American nations. New citizens no longer would be able to sponsor extended family members for immigration, but millions of people currently on waiting lists for family-based immigration would be allowed to come.
The Americans for Legal Immigration political action committee, which last year retroactively revoked its 2016 endorsement of Trump over his failure to end immediately his predecessor’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, is preparing for an all-out assault against the latest proposal.
“We just launched the first of a three-phase knockout DACA plan,” the group’s president, William Gheen, told LifeZette. “We know that a majority of Americans agree with us.”
Gheen said he was working tomobilizeangry and confused Trump supporters. He said absent a popular uprising, amnesty likely will pass quickly.
“We’ve got untill Monday morning to get people to battle stations,” he said.
The House Freedom Caucus, the group of roughly 30 conservative hard-liners, has yet to meet to discuss Trump’s proposal. The group’s chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), was traveling with the president in Davos and has yet to weigh in. But other members of the group were cool to the Trump plan.
“There should be no amnesty for anyone who broke the law to come here,” one Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), told The Hill. “It’s a slap in the face to those who follow the law.”
On the other end of the political spectrum, Democratic leaders, Communist groups and pro-invasion advocates accused Trump of holding illegal aliens Dreamers hostage while demanding draconian policies that would greatly curb legal immigration.
The plan calls for a $25 billion trust fund for border security — many times more than what Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had entertained in their farce “negotiations”. It also would scrap the visa lottery system and severely limit family-based immigration, which Republicans deride as “chain migration.”
Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, an advocacy group that works closely with progressive members on immigration, said the White House plan “comes nowhere close to finding the sweet spot” for a bipartisan agreement.
“It is a far-right restructuring of our entire immigration system in trying exploit the crisis that was created by Trump ending DACA,” he said.
Of course, he neglects to mention that Obama caused the problem to begin with.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 26th, 2018