On a conference call with House Republicans on Thursday, to which NBC and The Daily Beast obtained access, White House policy chief Stephen Miller described the immigration proposal President Trump will send to Congress on Monday.
In return for supporting a decade-long pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, the White House will demand $25 billion for a border wall and other border security measures, the abolition of the diversity visa lottery, and an end to family-based immigration other than for spouses and children under 18.
Under the White House proposal, the new pathway to citizenship would be accessible not only to the nearly 700,000 people whose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections were revoked by Trump, but also those who did not apply for DACA but meet all the qualifications.
Miller reportedly described this as one of the proposal’s “extremely generous provisions” and “dramatic concessions” to Democrats.
But the call to scrap or sharply reduce multiple forms of legal immigration is likely to face fierce opposition from Democrats and immigration advocates.
“This isn’t a counter offer; it’s a legislative burning cross,” said Democratic consultant Eddie Vale, who has been working with several pro-immigrant groups to pressure Congress over the past few months. “This isn’t an offer of someone who wants to get to a deal—it’s attempting to use the DREAMers as pawns to change the entire legal immigration system and get every item on Stephen Miller’s white supremacist wish list.”
Earlier on Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) predicted that the framework Trump and Miller would put forward would be “a decent DREAM Act with a parade of horribles attached to it.”
Asked what he would consider “horrible,” Murphy described essentially what the White House will reportedly propose.
“I don’t have the appetite to completely redo the methodology of how we bring people into this country,” he said. “There is room for for an increased skills assessment, but not at the expense of family reunification.”