Trump is supposedly making a "major" compromise on immigration, but don't be fooled by it. He's offering the House GOP's terrible Securing America's Future Act, and Democrats need to say "no deal".
President Trump’s immigration proposal to Congress will include a path to citizenship for an estimated 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants, White House officials said Thursday, more than twice the number of “dreamers” who were enrolled in a deferred action program Trump terminated last fall.
The figure represents a significant concession to Democrats but is likely to produce sharp blowback among conservative Republicans, even as the White House cast the move as one piece of an immigration framework that would significantly tighten border control laws.
Trump’s plan, which will be formally sent to the Senate on Monday, also includes a $25 billion “trust fund” for a border wall and additional security upgrades on both the southwest and northern U.S. borders. And the president will propose significant curbs to legal immigration channels, restricting the ability of U.S. citizens to petition for visas only for spouses and minor children and ending categories for parents and siblings. Both of those provisions are likely to engender fierce objections among liberal Democrats.
Pay attention to this part, because this is where everyone else but the Dreamers become federal criminals overnight if SAFA passes, and legal immigration will all but end.
Senior White House officials, who briefed reporters on the details, described the plan as a compromise intended to break an immigration impasse as Congress deliberates over the future of 690,000 enrolled in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) whose temporary work permits will begin to expire March 5.
The officials said that the plan will be delivered to the Senate with hopes that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would bring a bill to the floor the week of Feb. 6, just days before a Feb. 8 deadline for a must-pass spending bill to keep the government open. Many Democrats and some Republicans said they will not support a long-term spending bill without an immigration deal.
“This is kind of a bottom line,” said one senior administration official, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a proposal that had not been made public. “This is the president’s position. Then it goes to the Hill and they digest it and develop a bill they think can pass. ... If it’s realistic, he’ll sign it. If not, he won’t.”
Trump's trying to sell this as a novel, new compromise. It's not. The House GOP already has "saving" DACA baked in, including making all federal benefits like welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security permanently off-limits for Dreamers even after they become citizens. It would also add harsh new regulations for Dreamers and immigrants in general, including making states and cities offering protections to immigrants illegal, meaning that at any point if the Dreamers receive assistance from the government, they're in violation of the law...and gone.
Luckily it does seem that the Democrats see this trap coming and want no part of it.
"Dreamers should not be held hostage to President Trump's crusade to tear families apart and waste billions of American tax dollars on an ineffective wall," Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who has fought for protection for participants in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, said in a statement.
"The White House claims to be compromising because the President now agrees with the overwhelming majority of Americans that Dreamers should have a pathway to citizenship. But his plan would put the administration's entire hardline immigration agenda -- including massive cuts to legal immigration -- on the backs of these young people," Durbin said.
Democratic immigration advocate Eddie Vale, who's been closely involved in the recent immigration talks, called the White House proposal "a legislative burning cross."
"What the White House is filling you in on now is in no way an attempt to get to a real deal," Vale told CNN, adding that rather it is a way to "get every item on (White House senior adviser) Stephen Miller's white supremacist wish list."
Vale is 100% correct here. This isn't a deal at all, it's a mass sacrifice. Let's remember that the White House has straight up said that it will begin mass deportations of Dreamers after March 5 if there's no legislation on the table. The GOP is really offering "We deport 11 million, or we deport 9.2 million. Either way your base will blame you. Choose."
The answer is to not play the game.