By Daniel Uria – UPI
The White House will present a new immigration framework to Congress next week offering a pathway to citizenship to more than a million so-called “Dreamers” in exchange for funds for a border wall.
The plan would have President Donald Trump sign an immigration bill including a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children, in exchange for $25 billion in funds for a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border.
The bill would present an increase in the population of 690,000 undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, who receive protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
It would also require Dreamers’ path to citizenship be subject to “requirements for work, education and good moral character.”
In exchange for the provisions, the Trump administration would seek to limit family-based migration to spouses and children and an end the visa lottery system in addition to $20 billion to construct the border wall and $5 billion in border security measures
Funding for the border wall would be placed in a trust fund for protection from future Congresses.
Disagreements over DACA contributed to last week’s government shutdown as the majority of Democrats refused to vote for a temporary funding bill in an attempt to force Republicans to negotiate a fix for the program.
The White House has encouraged the Senate to draw up legislation based on the plan and introduce it by Feb. 5, days before the current round of government funding is set to expire.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the new plan “builds upon the four pillars for reform that the president has consistently put forth.”
“Members on both sides of the aisle will look to this framework for guidance as they work towards an agreement,” McConnell said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, opposed the idea of any plan that offers a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
“I do not believe we should be granting a path to citizenship to anybody here illegally,” Cruz said. “Doing so is inconsistent with the promises we made to the men and women who elected us.”