With the Senate set to begin an immigration debate this week, officials in the White House have started to float the idea of a compromise that would keep current levels of legal immigration – around 1.1 million per annum – for over a decade to come. President Donald Trump has proposed a series of measures, including terminating the US visa lottery and ending chain migration, which could see a legal restriction to the US reduced by over 40 percent.
But, on Saturday, a White House official revealed that the Trump administration has allied with Senate proposals to create a proposal that would offer the 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who came to the US as minors, known as ‘Dreamers’, a pathway to US citizenship and would see a clearing of the backlog of almost four million sponsored immigrant relatives currently waiting to get a green card.
Officials say the combined efforts would compensate for cuts in other categories of immigration for around 13 years, and after that, the number of immigrants would decline by several hundred thousand unless Congress took action to expand or create new US visa categories. The outline began taking shape early last week when Latino Republicans met with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, and White House chief of staff, John Kelly, last week.
Efforts to have a solution to the Dreamers’ plight included as part of government spending packages have failed. On Saturday, the President accused the Democrats of being more interested in politicizing their plight ahead of November’s midterm elections.