The White House has outlined an immigration plan that would allow 1.8 million people to become US citizens in exchange for funding of a border wall. PIX: AFP via BBC

WASHINGTON – The White House has outlined an immigration plan that would allow 1.8 million people to become US citizens in exchange for funding of a border wall.

The framework was described by a senior Trump aide in a conference call to Republicans ahead of legislative negotiations with Democrats.

The proposed bill, to be unveiled on Monday, requests $25bn (RM96.93 billionn) in funds for a wall on the Mexican border.

A top Democrat this week vowed to oppose funding a wall.

What is the plan?

The details emerged in a call on Thursday between White House policy chief Stephen Miller and Republican congressional aides, report US media.

The plan sets out a 10-12-year path to citizenship for 1.8 million people.

This includes some 700,000 so-called Dreamers, immigrants who illegally entered the US as children and were protected from deportation under an Obama-era programme, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca).

The other 1.1 million would be immigrants who did not apply for Daca but are eligible for the scheme.

The White House blueprint also seeks to end two other initiatives often criticised by President Donald Trump.

It proposes to curtail so-called chain migration, permitting US residents only to get visas for their spouse and children, not for extended family members.

The White House also wants to scrap the diversity visa lottery, under which 50,000 people from around the world every year win Green Cards at random.

Why is Daca important?

Mr Trump cancelled the programme in September and gave Congress a March deadline to come up with a new plan.

The president has so far rejected bipartisan proposals that have been presented to him.

Congress’ failure to secure a deal on immigration triggered a brief shutdown of the federal government over the weekend.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump said he was optimistic that a deal on immigration would be reached that included keeping the so-called Dreamers in the country.

He added that it was an “incentive” for so-called Dreamers to work hard and “do a great job”.

The Republican president has made it clear that in exchange for making a concession to help accomplish a Democratic priority, he wants the party’s backing for his signature campaign promise to deliver a border wall.

However, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer this week withdrew an offer of funding for Mr Trump’s proposed border barrier. -BBC

 

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