CHICAGO (CBS) — President Donald Trump is expected to lay out his immigration reform plan on Monday, but the framework already is getting some pushback from both sides of the aisle in Congress.
The White House has called Trump’s immigration plan a compromise both sides can support. Part of his legislative framework includes a permanent solution for immigrants who participate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Some 700,000 immigrants have been left in limbo, because they were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents, and Trump is ending the Obama-era DACA program that allowed them to stay here legally.
The White House already has outlined four pillars to the president’s immigration plan:
• Securing the border and closing legal loopholes;
• Ending so-called “chain migration,” which allows people to sponsor extended family for immigration;
• Canceling the “visa lottery” program;
• And providing a permanent solution on DACA.
The Trump administration has said their plan would provide a pathway to citizenship for nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants. In return, the president wants $25 billion to boost border security, including funding for the border wall.
The plan would need 60 votes to pass the Senate, meaning the White House must find support from Democrats, and members of both parties have said they are confident a resolution is forthcoming.
“He’s offered a very rational compromise to get it done. This was borne out of many conversations with Democrats alike, and Republicans to get to this point,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said. “If you just do border security and DACA, all you’re going to do is create an incentive for more people to try to flood the border, because they’ll say ‘I’ll get citizenship in the future, too.’ You need to fix it all.”
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the president’s plan is credible.
“You need wall systems. You need roads. You need redundancy. You need to fix old fencing. So we’re not going to build a 1,900-mile wall, but $25 billion can be spent wisely,” he said.
However, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) mocked the president’s insistence on a wall along the border with Mexico.
“The bad part comes is the idea of a wall, which I thought was a great idea in the 15th century, when China built the Great Wall. Not so smart today, when we have technology that is much more effective and more cost-effective in terms of protecting the border,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) said.
Congress has until Feb. 8 to pass a long-term budget deal before funding runs out on the current stopgap plan, and until March 5 before DACA permits begin to expire.
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