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President Trump’s immigration proposal may offer a path to citizenship for more than 1.8 million DACA recipients, according to the White House. The plan would also request $25 billion for border security and restrict immigration by eliminating the visa lottery program and limit family-based migration. Yamiche Alcindor joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the details.
New details just out of the White House tonight on President Trump's immigration proposal. There's word that it offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants.
Our White House correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor, joins me now with details.
So, Yamiche, what are we learning?
Well, the White House essentially released this early — they were supposed to release it on Monday. And now they are releasing it now.
And it goes into several different things. They want $25 billion for the border wall, and that's the border on the wall across from Mexico. And they want to hire more law enforcement officials, which means that there could be more deportation. They want a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for DACA recipients, as well as a larger group of undocumented people.
Usually, that has been 800,000 undocumented people. Now they are growing it to 1.8 million people. And they also want to restrict immigration. They want to eliminate the visa lottery program and limit family-based immigration, so-called chain migration.
And that term of course is essentially saying that you can bring over your kids or your spouse, but you cannot bring over your grandmother.
So, everybody has been waiting for this plan, as you said. They had said they were going to put it out on Monday. They have moved it up by several days. And you are already getting reaction to it.
Yes, so I spoke to a White House official today.
And he told me that they wanted to release it early because lawmakers on the Hill were getting antsy. They had been talking to different groups about it, so lawmakers wanted it in their hands. And the reaction has been mixed.
On the right side, conservatives have been at one point happy about it. Paul Ryan's spokesperson tells me that he is — that he see this as a balanced solution, but then you have Breitbart calling Donald Trump Amnesty Don because they are very angry at the fact that it's a 10- to 12-year path toward citizenship.
On the left, there are some groups that are saying this is a good negotiating tactic. This is kind of a good open place because it includes citizenship. But there are also people that are very angry at the family issue, because so many immigrants come to this country and bring over their family members. And the idea that you would have to leave your grandmother behind and only take your spouse is really heartbreaking for a lot of people.
We know, Yamiche, this is the start of an extended negotiating period. It is going to be hard-fought, but it looks like the White House wanted to get their ideas on the table now.
That official, the White House official I spoke to said that the president wanted to people to understand what he wanted. He wanted to lay this kind of line in the sand and help people understand that this is the framework that he wants to deal with.
And conservatives are really going to have to look at that number, $25 billion, and say, is this what we want to put on our border wall?
The interesting thing here is that this is not just talking about a concrete wall, but it's talking about technology, it's talking about creating more types of security. So in some ways, it expands the idea of the wall.
But I think the big thing for people back home is that the 1.8 billion people that they are offering citizenship to is a big number that they had not been talking about before. Yesterday, when Donald Trump talked about extending citizenship, he was only talking about 800,000 people.
So, that is a big thing for immigrant activists to hear him say that he wants to extend it.
Well, now that it is out, at least this, as much as you have described, is a lot for both sides to chew on.
Yamiche Alcindor, thanks so much.
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