On Thursday, the White House released a one-page Immigration Reform Package, amid mounting pressure from congressional leaders for some indication about what kind of immigration bill President Trump would support.
The White House’s Immigration Reform Plan has four points: (1) increasing border and interior immigration security; (2) legalizing individuals in the United States who are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA); (3) protecting the nuclear family; and (4) eliminating the Diversity Visa Program.
Border Security and Interior Immigration Security
The White House Border Security prong includes $25 billion for a border wall system and security enhancements at ports of entry and exit and the American border with Canada, ending the parole program for arriving aliens, expanding the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to indefinitely detain certain immigrants, and significant increases in the number of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officers, ICE attorneys, immigration judges, and immigration court prosecutors.
Legalizing DACA Eligible Individuals
The White House DACA Legalization prong includes a path to citizenship for the over one-million individuals in the United States who are eligible for the DACA program.
The decade-long path includes work, education, and good moral character requirements, with any status subject to revocation for criminal activity. The White House did not provide a definition for “legalization.”
Protecting the Nuclear Family
The White House proposal includes an end to “chain-migration.” The plan will end the ability for Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States to sponsor anyone other than their spouses and minor children.
Sponsorship of parents, siblings, fiancées, fiancées, and children over 21, which is permissible under current immigration law, will end. Family petitions already in the immigration process will be “grandfathered,” that is, permitted to proceed to adjudication.
Eliminating the Diversity Visa Program
In its proposal, the White House also calls for an end to the Diversity Visa Program, with a reallocation of the diversity visas to family-based and high-skilled employee immigrant visa preference categories, to reduce the now-significant priority date backlog.