Trump Dangles Citizenship for 1.8 Million, in Exchange for $25B Border Wall and an Immigration Crackdown

WASHINGTON -- The White House offered a deal Thursday that would allow 1.8 million young immigrants to become citizens in exchange for drastic curbs on future immigration and $25 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.The White House cast it as a "compromise" that both sides in Congress can support. But it doesn't address the status of most of the 11 million people in the country illegally and in that regard, it differs substantially from "comprehensive" deals debated for years.Immigration advocates called it a nonstarter -- an effort to use the threat of deportation hanging over young immigrants since President Donald Trump scrapped an Obama-era executive order last fall as a sweetener for a set of policies they view as draconian.The plan would dramatically curb "chain migration," which lets newly minted Americans and some green card holders petition to bring extended family members to the United States. Under the new rules, the benefit would only apply to spouses and minor children, though pending applications would be processed."They don't get to exploit a crisis they created so they can take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. They don't get to threaten young Americans with deportation in order to keep out and kick out millions," said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice. "They want to slash legal immigration by nearly 50 percent.... They want to build up their deportation force to drive millions out of the country. They want to build a big, stupid, wasteful and insulting border wall to extend the middle finger to Latin America."The news comes as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is warning his party against supporting "amnesty" for Dreamers."It would be a serious mistake for Congress to pass amnesty legislation with a path to citizenship for those here illegally," Cruz told The Dallas Morning News Thursday, ahead of the revelation that the president would support a path to citizenship for 1.8 million DACA-eligible immigrants."Doing so would be inconsistent with the promises we made to the men and women who elected us. We should be standing for the working men and women of this country," Cruz said.In an interview with Bloomberg, an exercised Cruz pointed out that President Barack Obama did not include a path to citizenship in the original DACA program. Without naming Trump , Cruz expressed astonishment that the GOP would consider such a move now and accused the party of moving "to the left of Obama."  Continue reading...

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