White House Deal: Dreamer Protection for Immigration Crackdown

(CN) – The White House sent Congress an outline for a deal on immigration Thursday that includes protection of children of undocumented immigrants in exchange for greater border security and other immigration restrictions.

In a Thursday afternoon call with Republican staffers on Capitol Hill, a high-ranking White House official provided the contours of a deal that would include a path to citizenship for the 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children in exchange for key Republican priorities.

The White House said any deal must include $25 billion in funding for the border wall, the central plank of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Other requirements outlined by the Trump administration include the elimination of the visa lottery and greater immigration restrictions on family connections, limiting immigration to members of a resident’s immediate rather than extended family.

The president also wants more money for border patrol agents, immigration attorneys and judges as well as the closure of “loopholes” that complicate the deportation of people who have overstayed their visas.

In exchange for this lengthy list of immigration reform, the Democrats would receive their main objective in the drawn-out immigration negotiations: permanent protections for Dreamers.

The path to citizenship for the 1.8 million dreamers more than doubles the nearly 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants protected under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA.

The White House, which expressed confidence the deal could get 60 votes in the Senate and earn similar bipartisan agreement in the House of Representatives, said it will unveil the full plan on Monday.

The Senate struck a deal on immigration reform in 2013, but it was ignored in the Republican-dominated House.

As part of the deal to reopen the government on Monday, the government gave itself a Feb. 8 deadline to address the immigration issue.

Trump has come under increasing criticism from both parties over his wavering positions on the issue, but has advocated for Dreamers many times. Whether he can control the restive conservatives in the House likely to oppose path to citizenship provisions – or whether Democrats will agree to the laundry list of restrictive immigration policies – will play out in the weeks ahead.

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