The White House released its immigration framework Thursday, detailing a plan officials say will result in a path to citizenship for 1.8 million DREAMers in exchange for $25 billion dollars for border security.
A senior White House official called the new proposal “a compromise position that we believe… will get 60 votes in the Senate” and “a framework that ultimately will lead to passage of a law,” during a call with Republican Hill staffers
The plan, while perhaps appearing generous on first glance, is actually setting in motion a kind of immigration reform that is quite stringent and laced with white nationalist policy ideas.
The White House immigration framework limits forms of legal immigration by eliminating the visa lottery and curbing U.S. migration by extended families — or what the Trump administration pejoratively calls “chain migration” — a big change to current U.S. immigration policy. New citizens would only be able to sponsor their immediate families, like spouses and children, to legally enter the country. Other relatives would be excluded.
Restricting so-called “chain migration” disproportionately affects Latinos and people of Asian origin, who are likely to be recent immigrants and therefore more likely to have close relatives outside the United States.
Additionally, the Diversity Visa Immigrant Program, which allows up to 50,000 people a year to immigrate to the United States from underrepresented populations is a system that disproportionately benefits African immigrants.
The framework claims the new immigration policy will help around 1.8 million DREAMers, yet makes no mention of what will happen to the undocumented immigrants living in the United States who are not DREAMers, leaving their immigration statuses in limbo.
What the framework does mention in detail, however, is how much the money administration is seeking for border security: a whopping $25 billion.
The White House says the $25 billion would help pay for the cost of a physical barrier at the United States southern border with Mexico and the northern border with Canada. The administration is also seeking funds for more U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lawyers and immigration judges, suggesting that the only thing standing in between President Trump and his deportation ambitions are the number of personnel.
UPDATE (7:07 PM): United We Dream, an immigrants rights advocacy group released the following statement regarding the White House immigration framework:
Let’s call this proposal for what it is: a white supremacist ransom note. Trump and Stephen Miller killed DACA and created the crisis that immigrant youth are facing. They have taken immigrant youth hostage, pitting us against our own parents, Black immigrants and our communities in exchange for our dignity.
To Miller and Trump’s white supremacist proposal, immigrant youth say: No.