ADEA Washington Update

President Trump Puts Forth His Plan for Immigration

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President Donald Trump made cracking down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign. So, it was not a big surprise when last September he announced he would let the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program wind down in six months and place the matter in the hands of a divided Congress. The administration gave lawmakers until March 5 to address the DREAMers.

On Jan. 9, President Trump stated he was willing to work with Democrats on a deal to allow the more than 700,000 children of undocumented immigrants set to lose their protection from deportation to remain in the United States. He even said he would be willing to sign a comprehensive immigration bill if lawmakers put a bipartisan piece of legislation forward. President Trump later changed his mind. On Jan. 25, the Trump Administration proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented people—in exchange for a $25 billion trust fund to pay for building a wall.

The president has four goals for any immigration overhaul:

  1. Add more border security, including a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border.
  2. Grant legal status to DACA recipients and other DACA-eligible illegal immigrants, adjusting the time-frame to encompass a total population of approximately 1.8 million individuals.
  3. Promote nuclear family migration by limiting family sponsorships to spouses and minor children only (for both Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents).
  4. Eliminate the Visa Lottery program and reallocate the visas to reduce the family-based “backlog” and high-skilled employment “backlog.”

Whether lawmakers will include all for goals or whether they will work on a DACA only bill by March 5 is still unclear. As the political debates continue, economists warn that removing all unauthorized immigrants from the workforce could cost the U.S. economy as much as $5 trillion over 10 years.

ADEA continues to monitor the issue and will report on the outcome of the debate.

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