White House officials say President Donald Trump is prepared to offer a “path to citizenship” for 1.8 million immigrants in the country illegally in exchange for a number of items on the Trump Administration immigration policy wishlist, according to Associated Press.
Under the agreement, so-called “chain migration” would be curtailed to certain immediate family members — spouses and underage children — and the visa lottery program would be eliminated. The compromise also includes $25 billion for a wall at the Mexican border, and “unspecified billions” more for “additional immigration enforcement measures.”
The 1.8 million people are made up of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and immigrants who were eligible for protection under DACA, but did not apply.
Protecting 1.8 million people would almost triple the number of people currently protected from deportation under the Obama-era DACA framework. In its first year, the program issued protections to 800,000 people, according to the Washington Times. Now, 690,000 are protected under the DACA program.
While the program is set to expire in March, a court ordered the Trump Administration to allow DACA recipients to apply to renew their permits again, extending the program for an uncertain amount of time. Before the ruling, the Trump Administration stopped accepting DACA permit renewals in September of last year as it planned for the program’s termination.
White House officials are speaking on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the plan before its release. While President Trump can be notoriously quick to change his mind, he’s often tweeted that any sort of action on DACA must come in conjunction with a wall or additional spending on, more generally, “security.”
The plan is likely to draw fire from both sides on Capitol Hill. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a conservative Republican, is already slamming the plan as “amnesty” and said that Republicans who support the plan are “to the left of Barack Obama.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.