The Trump administration releases an immigration framework which opens up the possibility for citizenship to 1.8 million people brought the U.S. as minors, as a part of a package that would include $25 billion for a border wall and stronger security. In addition, the framework would end chain migration for extended family members.
The path to citizenship has been among the most contentious issues in the immigration debate over the last decade, and Trump himself has taken inconsistent positions on it. But in an impromptu group interview with reporters Wednesday, the president said he’s willing to consider citizenship for so-called DREAMers who came to the United States as children.
“If they do a great job, I think it’s a nice thing to have the incentive of, after a period of years, being able to become a citizen,” Trump said. That period would be 10 to 12 years, Trump said.
Yet the proposal to cut back family-based immigration is sure to draw fire from Democrats, as it represents a nearly 25% cut to legal immigration into the country. Under the new plan, Miller said that U.S. citizens and green card holders will only be allowed to sponsor their spouses and minor children to enter the country.
Congress passed a short-term funding bill over the weekend to keep the government open until Feb. 8; Democrats have insisted the Senate take up an immigration bill before voting on any additional funding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Thursday that he appreciated Trump laying out his immigration objectives. “I am hopeful that as discussions continue in the Senate on the subject of immigration, Members on both sides of the aisle will look to this framework for guidance as they work towards an agreement,” he said.