Tags: Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Immigration | Ted Cruz | Trump Administration | conservatives | immigration framework

Conservatives Mixed on Trump's Immigration Plan

Conservatives Mixed on Trump's Immigration Plan
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Bill Clark/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 25 January 2018 07:50 PM

Conservative reaction was across the spectrum Thursday to President Donald Trump's immigration framework — including a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million "Dreamers" — with Republican leaders heaping praise as others accused Trump of reneging on a major campaign promise.

"This framework builds upon the four pillars for reform that the president has consistently put forth, and indicates what is necessary for the president to sign a bill into law," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a statement.

"I am hopeful that as discussions continue in the Senate on the subject of immigration, members on both sides of the aisle will look to this framework for guidance as they work towards an agreement."

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who was recently involved in White House discussions involving a permanent fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, called Trump's blueprint "generous and humane, while also being responsible.

"It protects those eligible for DACA, who are here through no fault of their own," he added. "But it also will prevent us from ending up back here in five years by securing the border and putting an end to extended-family chain migration.

"The president's willingness to grandfather everyone in the current immigrant backlog also shows he's serious about reaching a bipartisan solution," Cotton said.

But Texas Sen. Ted Cruz opposed the plan, telling reporters at the Capitol that "I do not believe we should be granting a path to citizenship to anybody here illegally.

"Doing so is inconsistent with the promises we made to the men and women who elected us."

Top White House officials previewed Trump's immigration framework Thursday, pitching it as a compromise that could pass the Senate, before its official unveiling Monday.

The plan marks a reversal for President Trump, who long promised to eliminate the Obama-era DACA program, as a stalemate over the issue in the Senate eventually led to a two-day federal government shutdown that ended Monday.

An estimated 700,000 aliens brought to the U.S. as children who remain here illegally are affected by DACA, which is scheduled to expire March 5.

President Trump's outline also includes restricting new chain migration to spouses and minor children, ending the visa lottery program and creating a $25 million trust fund for border security, which would include a wall on the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

In September, Trump ruled out the idea of citizenship for the Dreamers, saying: "We're not looking at citizenship. We're not looking at amnesty.

"We're looking at allowing people to stay here."

Many Republicans lauded President Trump's blueprint, including Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring at the end of this year after more than four decades in the chamber.

"The White House framework is a step in the right direction," he said. "It appears to include a serious, fair-minded proposal on DACA and significant improvements to border security.

"I was encouraged to see the reference to high-skilled immigration," Hatch added. "I believe strongly that high-skilled immigration needs to be part of the discussion."

Doug Andes, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, told The Hill "we're grateful for the president showing leadership on this issue and believe his ideas will help us ultimately reach a balanced solution."

Georgia Sen. David Perdue, who was in the Jan. 11 DACA meeting with Cotton, said the structure was "something that both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate should be eager to support.

"We all want a good deal, and here it is."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, another participant in the Oval Office meeting, took to Twitter:

But other conservatives tweeted strong opposition to President Trump's proposal, echoing Cruz's position that Trump had betrayed his core supporters:

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President Donald Trump's immigration framework, including a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million "Dreamers," had Republican leaders heaping praise while other conservatives accused Trump of reneging on a major campaign promise.
conservatives, immigration framework, daca, dreamers
Thursday, 25 January 2018 07:50 PM
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