The Financial Express

Trump plan to offer citizenship to 1.8m undocumented immigrants in return for wall fund

| Updated: January 26, 2018 20:19:02

US President Donald Trump. - Reuters file photo US President Donald Trump. - Reuters file photo

The White House has outlined an immigration plan for nearly two million people to become US citizens in exchange for funding for a controversial border wall with Mexico.

The framework was suggested by a senior Trump aide, ahead of legislative negotiations with Democrats.

The proposed bill, to be unveiled on Monday, requests $25 billion (£17.6 billion) in funds for a wall on the Mexican border, according to a BBC report Friday.

The Democrats, who oppose funding for the wall, have criticised the plan.

What is the plan?

The details emerged in a conference call on Thursday between White House policy chief Stephen Miller and Republican congressional aides, according to US media.

Mr Miller reportedly described the White House plan as a "dramatic concession".

The blueprint sets out a 10-12-year path to citizenship for 1.8 million people.

This includes some 0.70 million so-called Dreamers, immigrants who illegally entered the US as children and were protected from deportation under an Obama-era programme, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The other 1.1 million would be immigrants who did not apply for DACA but are eligible for the scheme.

The White House framework also seeks to end two other initiatives often criticised by President Donald Trump.

It proposes to curtail so-called chain migration, permitting US residents only to get visas for their spouse and children, not for extended family members.

The White House also wants to scrap the diversity visa lottery, under which 50,000 people from around the world every year win Green Cards at random.

What's the reaction?

Republican US Senator Tom Cotton, one of the most conservative voices on immigration policy, welcomed Mr Trump's plan.

"The president's framework is generous and humane, while also being responsible," the Arkansas senator said in a statement.

Democrats were less impressed. "Dreamers should not be held hostage to President Trump's crusade to tear families apart and waste billions of American tax dollars on an ineffective wall," Senate Democratic whip Dick Durbin said in a statement.

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez was among those tweeting their frustration.

United We Dream, a young immigrants' organisation, called the White House plan "a white supremacist ransom note".


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