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White House proposes path to citizenship for 1.8 million people

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jan 25, 2018

 President Donald Trump is proposing giving 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship in exchange for $25 billion for his long-promised wall and a host of other strict immigration cuts, according to a framework proposed Thursday.

The outlines of the deal were described by a White House official for staff on Capitol Hill that CNN was given access to on Thursday afternoon.

In what the White House official called a "dramatic concession," Trump would accept a path to citizenship for not just those originally eligible for DACA but for a broader population, adding up to 1.8 million people, the official said.


In return, the White House would like to see a $25 billion investment in a trust for border infrastructure and technology, as well as more funds for personnel, and an end to family migration beyond spouses and minor children. The diversity visa lottery would also be abolished, with those visas going to work through a backlog of people already waiting for family visas and high-skilled immigration green cards.

In what may end up being the most contentious piece of the proposal, the White House is also defining as border security closing "legal loopholes" that will allow it to deport more immigrants -- which would likely include changes in immigration enforcement authority that would be virtually impossible for Democrats to swallow.

The White House official sold the plan as a "compromise position" that it believes would get 60 votes in the Senate -- a point the official underscored multiple times -- and then could be "sent over to the House for additional improvement and modification."

"(The bill) includes some extremely generous provisions that should make Democrat support to get to 60 votes a given," the official said, referring to the generous path to citizenship. "Certainly any Democrat who is serious about priorities they say they have ... should be impossible to impose this measure if it's one sincere belief."