Democrats slam White House immigration proposal

Democrats are responding to President Donald Trump's proposal to give 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants a pat...

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 10:43 AM
Updated: Jan 26, 2018 10:43 AM

Democrats are responding to President Donald Trump's proposal to give 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship in exchange for $25 billion for his long-promised wall -- and they're not happy.

"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.

Trump proposes giving 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship

It would be in exchange for $25 billion for his long-promised wall

"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."

He also said the immigration bill proposed by Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, was "a real bipartisan process" and that Democrats were willing to make trades they wouldn't usually make to get a deal -- even considering the wall in negotiations.

A big problem for Democrats will be the cuts to "chain migration" -- or family-based migration.

One key immigration advocate told CNN the White House proposal would be "the biggest cut to legal immigration in nearly 100 years."

They told CNN: "It is not something that could ever earn support from the immigration community."

A senior Democratic aide described the proposal to CNN as "not credible."

The outlines of the deal were described by a White House official in a conference call for staff on Capitol Hill that CNN was given access to on Thursday afternoon.

In what the White House official called a "dramatic concession," Trump would accept a path to citizenship for not just those originally eligible for DACA but also for a broader population, adding up to 1.8 million people, the official said.

In return, the White House would like to see a $25 billion investment in a trust for border infrastructure and technology, as well as more funds for personnel, and an end to family migration beyond spouses and minor children. The diversity visa lottery would also be abolished, with those visas going to work through a backlog of people already waiting for family visas and high-skilled immigration green cards.

In what may end up being the most contentious piece of the proposal, the White House is also defining as border security closing "legal loopholes" that will allow it to deport more immigrants -- which would likely include changes in immigration enforcement authority that would be virtually impossible for Democrats to swallow.

Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois described the proposal on Twitter as "$25 billion as ransom for Dreamers."

He also wrote, "It would be far cheaper to erect a 50-foot concrete statue of a middle finger and point it towards Latin America, because both a wall and the statue would be equally offensive and equally ineffective and both would express Trump's deeply held suspicion of Latinos."

Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigration advocacy group America's Voice, slammed the proposal, saying Trump and Miller are "exploiting a crisis that they created."

"This is the moment that the hardliners -- John Kelly, Stephen Miller, Tom Cotton, Bob Goodlatte, John Cornyn and their outside collaborators -- have been waiting and planning for," he said in a statement. "The hardliners are high-fiving; the Statue of Liberty weeps."

And Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii slammed the White House for wanting to cut legal immigration.

"There is no public policy justification for cutting legal immigration in half. None," he wrote.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
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Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
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Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
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Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
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Jackson509076
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Lawrence4742122
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Union72810
Ohio57911
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1108902

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287491467
Cuyahoga1158082211
Hamilton814091250
Montgomery525571043
Summit484351001
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Butler39018606
Stark33338929
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Delaware18856136
Licking16663222
Fairfield16576204
Trumbull16551482
Medina15612271
Greene15284248
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Wood13292200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11607211
Miami10849225
Wayne9146223
Columbiana9034230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8650250
Marion8642138
Erie8056165
Ashtabula7161179
Hancock6999132
Ross6945161
Geauga6838151
Scioto6534106
Belmont6157174
Union584649
Lawrence5732102
Jefferson5679158
Huron5546122
Sandusky5442126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5320109
Athens523960
Auglaize502187
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444366
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
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Guernsey324953
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
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Hardin275365
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Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148440
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
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