The White House on Thursday said that President Donald Trump is planning to provide a path to citizenship for 1.8 million younger immigrants living in the United States illegally, in exchange for new immigration law and $25 billion in border security. The plan, though appreciated by some in Congress, but hugely slammed by conservative activists and Democrats, accusing President Donald Trump of holding “Dreamers” hostage to his hard-line immigration agenda.
The proposed plan, if passed in the Senate, will assist an estimated 690,000 younger immigrants protected from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, as well as others who never applied for the program. However, the plan would not allow immigrants’ parents to seek lawful status, the officials said.
Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Trump said, “We’re going to morph into it.” “It’s going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years.” It was a U-turn for the US president, who had previously said he opposed a pathway to citizenship for Dreamer immigrants.
Under the plan, the recipients need to fulfil minimum education requirements and should possess “good moral character”, however, the legal status can be revoked on findings of criminal behaviour or national security threats.
The Nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute said it believes the largest share of the White House’s 1.8 million people who’d be eligible for citizenship, 1.3 million are people who currently meet all of DACA’s eligibility requirements. These include years in the US, their ages now and when they entered this country, and whether they have a high school or equivalent education. Another 400,000 are people who would be eligible for DACA protection but for their education. And 100,000 more are people who are under age 15, the minimum age allowed for most people requesting protection under the program.