Last week the national news media devoted extensive coverage to President Trump’s language and demeanor when he met with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss a proposal to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (popularly referred to as “DACA”). On Saturday, details of the plan began emerging. What did the proposed compromise to prevent the exodus of foreign national who entered the United States as children actually involve?
A Journalistic Scoop
The Denver Post, a newspaper from Colorado, unveiled the nuts and bolts of the measure for the benefit of the public, supplying details omitted by (or possibly unavailable to) many national press organizations last week. Senators drawn from both sides of the aisle had urged the Trump Administration to consider the proposed bill. It would prevent the expulsion of “Dreamers” raised in the United States and ultimately possibly offer a way for some of their family members to obtain a legalized status.
The bipartisan deal had obtained support from both Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a 2016 presidential candidate from South Carolina, and Democrat Senator Richard Durban from Illinois. Other well known supporters of the measure include two Democrats, Senators Michael Bennett of Colorado and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Republican Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent critic of the Trump Administration.
Details of the Proposed Compromise
The compromise legislation would supply a path to citizenship for people who entered the United States illegally. They could obtain citizenship after 12 years, with DACA permitting “Dreamers” to reduce the time period based upon years already spent living in the United States. Although the parents of Dreamers would not receive citizenship, in some cases they would have the ability to obtain potentially renewable three-year work permits.
The proposed compromise would change the current visa “lottery” system under which people in nations designated as those with historically few U.S. immigrants can seek legal immigration into the USA. The lottery program admits 50,000 new immigrants annually, with most new immigrants coming from Sub-Saharan and North African nations. The new system would reserve half of the available lottery visas to people from countries give a priority “merit-based” status and the other half to refugees already admitted to the USA with a temporary protected status. Congress would pay $1.6 billion towards the multibillion dollar border wall.