The Trump Administration has released a new framework containing components of proposed immigration reform.
Not surprisingly, border security is at the top of the list and includes the following components:
- New $25 billion trust fund for the (southern) border wall system
- Funds for hiring more enforcement personnel
- Immigration court reforms
- Ending the “catch-and-release” policy and establishing an emphasis on the prompt removal of illegal border crossers
- Ensuring the removal of criminal aliens, gang members, violent offenders and aggravated felons
- Expedited removal for visa overstays
Legalization for DACA recipients and other DACA-eligible illegal immigrants is next:
- Increase in the number of eligible individuals to 1.8 million (from 800,000)
- Provision of a 10-12 year path to citizenship
Ending so-called “Chain Migration”:
- Limit family sponsorship to spouses and minor children for U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Resident sponsors
- Exclude parents and other non-nuclear family members from sponsorship
Ending the Diversity Visa Lottery:
- Reallocate the 50,000 diversity lottery visas to the family-based and employment-based backlogs. As of November 1, 2017, there were approximately 4 million applicants waiting for green cards, 112,000 are employment-based applicants.
This framework increases the number of “DACA-like” recipients but is otherwise similar to the principles that the Administration offered in October 2017 in exchange for DACA relief. The new proposal, however, does not include all of the earlier proposals such as requiring the use of E-Verify and eliminating federal aid to sanctuary cities.
It is reported that the Administration believes this framework could reach 60 votes in the Senate although its fate in the House is likely more uncertain. Due to the Administration’s DACA rescission in September 2017, Congress has only until March 2018 to find a solution for the future of the “Dreamers.” More details about the framework are expected from the Administration soon.