President Trump is expected to unveil his plan to revamp Legal Immigration in the coming days. Recently, the president’s senior advisers met with leading GOP Republican senators to go over the proposal to revamp the US legal immigration system, however, many participants in the meeting thought the plan to be lacking in substance, according to CNN.
The meeting was the product of weeks of meetings with lawmakers and stakeholders in the immigration debate. But one Republican aide told CNN after the meeting that the feeling in the caucus lunch was that immigration is a longshot at this point. The fact there was no DACA or according to this source no E-Verify, makes it hard to imagine that this would end in any real, bipartisan deal. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, a close Trump ally who is presenting his own immigration plan, claimed “the White House’s plan is not designed to become law.”
Advocating for his own proposal, Graham said: “The White House plan is trying to unite the Republican Party around border security and merit-based immigration. I’m trying to get some relief to our Border Patrol agents. I’m trying to put a dent in the smuggling business and keep kids from going on a journey that’s got to be hell.”
The President has pushed for a “merit-based” immigration system, which would prioritize high-skilled workers, and an end to chain migration. Some issues, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, were not discussed at the meeting by design, the official added, to avoid discussion on topics that remain divisive. The proposal also did not address family separations at the border.
However, the proposal also is likely to preserve family unification as a principle of the legal immigration system, meaning that immigrants will likely continue to be able to sponsor other immediate family members, helping them obtain legal status in the United States.
Among the priorities of the proposal would be putting in place a merit “points” system for legal immigration. Reforming the legal immigration system will aim to keep the total number of legal immigrants entering the country the same, the official added. It will also seek to secure ports of entry and increasing barriers, i.e. a wall, “where needed” across the border.