Trump Citizenship Plan for 1.8M DREAMers Draws Opponents on Both Sides

Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller listens as President Trump speaks during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy at the White House on Jan. 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — House Democrats quickly bristled at a White House framework that would give 1.8 million DREAMers a path to citizenship, arguing that the deal for DACA beneficiaries is cover to  “implement a mass deportation agenda.”

The framework released by the administration Thursday includes a “$25 billion trust fund for the border wall system, ports of entry/exit, and northern border improvements and enhancements,” a limitation of family reunification to spouses and minor children, and a “10-12 year path to citizenship, with requirements for work, education and good moral character” for those already registered or eligible for the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The White House also wants to eliminate the visa lottery “and reallocate the visas to reduce the family-based ‘backlog’ and high-skilled employment ‘backlog.’”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) argued that President Trump “continues to move the goal posts — now insisting that any deal to prevent DREAMer families from being split apart require that other families be separated instead.”

“That does not reflect America’s values, and it is not good policy,” he added. “Democrats are committed to protecting DREAMers and we believe that our border should be secure, but these young people should not be used as a bargaining chip to harm other families.”

“…With only five legislative days remaining to fund the government and address the issue of DREAMers, the president should not be releasing a framework that is a nonstarter like this one.”

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) jointly slammed the framework as “an extreme, nativist, anti-immigrant proposal that fulfills his campaign promise of mass deportation.”

“This is not a true compromise. It is a ransom demand from an administration that has taken the DREAMers hostage as leverage for hateful immigration policy. This will not work,” the two said in a statement.

“We will not and cannot support this White House immigration proposal. We are disgusted that the Trump administration has chosen to exploit the vulnerable position of DREAMers to implement a mass deportation agenda. Speaker Ryan should put a clean DREAM Act on the floor and let the majority of members decide.”

Whit House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller outlined the strategy in what was described as a “heated” and “contentious” phone call with conservative immigration groups Thursday.

“The American People have a Right to enforcement of our laws & a Right to a sealed border. Illegals have No Right to be here & have ALL violated our laws. This #Amnesty deal negotiates away American Sovereignty,” tweeted Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

“By specifically saying that 1.8M ‘dreamers’ would get amnesty, WH proposal guarantees that as a *floor*; the number in any bill that actually passes will inevitably be higher,” tweeted Center for Immigration Studies director Mark Krikorian.