Because he just can’t get enough of turning heads with his belligerence, this week at the White House, President Donald Trump unveiled what he’s marketed as a comprehensive plan to transform the United States immigration system. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) denounced the plan as essentially garbage, insisting that it’s “dead on arrival” in the House as long as the Democratic majority remains in place.
‘The White House has repackaged the worst of its past failed immigration plans: greenlighting the Administration’s barbaric family detention policies, reviving the President’s ineffective and wasteful wall, completely abandoning our patriotic and determined Dreamers and gutting our asylum and refugee protections. To say that this plan’s application criteria are ‘merit-based’ is the height of condescension.’
As Pelosi indicates, the newest Trump proposal essentially erases the current foundation of the U.S. immigration system, transitioning the country to a points-based system in which prospective immigrants can rack up priority for admittance based on items like high skills and financial self-sufficiency. Other factors that would contribute towards acceptance include learning English and passing a civics exam.
The plan clearly echoes some longstanding Trump priorities; the president has consistently railed against things like “chain migration,” a term he’s used to refer to people in the U.S. sponsoring family members’ travel to the country.
The plan does not include even a mention of the hundreds of thousands of young people currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program, which the Obama administration instituted to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as kids and young teens. The Trump administration has previously sought to end the program before being ordered by a judge to at least in part keep it going; now apparently, they’re trying to ax it again, although there’s still the possibility that they dangle continued protections for DACA recipients as an attempted incentive for Democrats to back their plan. They’ve done exactly that before, politicizing the very future of hundreds of thousands of people who have done nothing against anyone in the United States.
This time around, Democrats are making it abundantly clear that they want nothing to do with the idea. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) denounced the new Trump plan as showing “this President’s continued disrespect for the principle of keeping families together.”
Besides the most newly formalized proposals, Trump continues to stump for his pet projects including a southern border wall, which has materialized mostly so far as updated to existing fencing. He’s seeking billions more for the project, which Congress has shown no sign of being eager to hand over so he’s been getting pledges in the billions from the Pentagon.
He’s also been pushing for other particularly Trump-ian, harsh proposals like the separation of all apprehended migrant families, no matter where they’re taken into custody and no matter whether or not any of the members pose any kind of actual tangible threat. He just wants the kids in cages to scare people away from coming here.
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