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January 25, 2018

Summary

On Thursday, January 25, The Washington Post reported that the White House is proposing a path to citizenship for an estimated 1.8 million Dreamers (DACA recipients). In exchange for sparing young undocumented immigrants the hardships of deportation, the proposal calls for a $25 billion trust fund for a border wall and additional security measures to curtail illegal border crossing. The proposal also seeks to crack down on legal immigration systems and processes. While the plan would enable more than twice the number of young people previously enrolled in DACA to become citizens of the United States over a 10-12-year period, it dually seeks to terminate the Diversity Visa Lottery program by replacing it with a merit-based program, and would make it illegal for American citizens of immigrant families to sponsor a parent, adult child, or sibling should they seek citizenship in the US. Under this proposal, only spouses and minor-aged children would be eligible for visa sponsorship. The proposal was created by domestic policy advisor to the President Stephen Miller and White House chief of staff John Kelly.

Analysis

While the White House views this proposal as a compromise, congressional Democrats and Republicans in support of progressive immigration reform see it as a demand to concede, which resulted in great pushback following the legislative announcement on Thursday. Likewise, certain provisions of the plan are likely to upset conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill, specifically the creation of a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

This proposal not only demonstrates the President’s (and his administration’s) unwillingness to compromise with Democrats, but also the disconnect between himself and members of his own party. Furthermore, Trump’s insistence on letting Dreamers stay in the U.S. not only contradicts his administration’s move to end DACA in the first place, but is counterintuitive to his plan of splitting up Dreamers’ families, going against a central tenant of the “American Dream” (providing a better life for one’s family) that he so vigorously champions. This makes the basis of logic for this proposal difficult to follow, coming from a place where motives and reasoning should be transparent and easy to understand.

Engagement Resources

  • Act with America’s Voice: America’s Voice is a progressive immigration reform nonprofit that advocates for full and equal rights of all immigrants. The organization runs numerous campaigns, maps incidents of hate against people of color, and assists with voter registration, amongst other activities essential to promoting equity for immigrant lives in the United States. You can make a contribution to America’s Voice here.
  • Support the New Americans Campaign: The New Americans Campaign is a national, nonpartisan network of immigrant organizations, legal service providers, faith-based organizations, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, foundations, and community leaders. A project by the Immigration Legal Resource Center, the campaign is committed to connecting lawful permanent residents to trusted legal assistance. Click here to support the campaign.
  • Show Your Solidarity with Here to Stay: Here to Stay is a campaign run by United We Dream aimed at defending DACA. The organization hosts local Defend DACA rallies and other events, holds community calls, and provides resources for understanding DACA, as well as mental health resources for anyone who is affected by the administration’s decision to end DACA.

This brief was compiled by Allie Blum. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact allie@usresistnews.org.


 

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