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Experts Say Comprehensive Deal on DACA Appears Unlikely

Experts Say Comprehensive Deal on DACA Appears Unlikely
(AP)

By    |   Monday, 29 January 2018 11:04 AM

After the White House released on Thursday its proposal for a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that adds new restrictions to legal immigration, many experts have said an agreement appears unlikely, CNN reported on Monday.

Critics from the right slammed President Donald Trump's proposal as a far-too generous "amnesty," while those opposed to it on the left, such as New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, rejected it as a "massive, cruel and family-punishing overhaul of our current legal immigration system."

Although the plan did contain concessions to Democrats, including a path to citizenship for some 1.8 million undocumented immigrants, it also had changes unacceptable to most of the party's rank and file, especially since Trump had earlier this month rejected a bipartisan framework solution to the problem.

The White House proposal included aggressive cuts to legal immigration and a push for enhanced enforcement powers, ending family migration beyond spouses and minor children, abolishing the diversity visa lottery and allocating more than $25 billion for a wall and other border security.

"When Trump proposed something that in orthodoxy was not possible in the Democrat world and got criticized by the right, that was the end of the deal, because how can Trump agree to something more liberal now?" attorney Leon Fresco, who led immigration negotiations for Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2013, told CNN.

"For both sides, the deal is completely unacceptable, so that's what makes this very complicated."

Others appeared to agree, such as Randel Johnson, a longtime lobbyist on the issue.

"I think the danger is both sides begin posturing to their respective bases and both sides will walk away earning brownie points with their bases and get nothing done," he said.

However, Oklahoma's Republican Sen. James Lankford said there was progress in Trump's plan, because a written proposal finally gives all sides an idea of what the president's parameters are, something the senator acknowledged was unclear until now and made serious negotiations more difficult.

"This wasn't just a statement at a press conference offhand," Lankford said. "If he's putting it on paper, that means not only has he signed off on it, his team has signed off on it."

Others are pointing to a temporary solution that would delay to a later date dealing with major immigration reform.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham indicated such a possibility when he told Roll Call earlier this month "we'll probably extend the DREAM Act kids, the DACA kids, for a year."

Frank Sharry, an advocate with America's Voice Education Fund who has spent decades negotiating immigration, said he was not giving up hope, because "when the White House realizes this is going nowhere and Republican leadership is going to be left holding the bag, they may say, 'Let's do something narrow and do it quick.' And it'll be border security and a DACA fix."

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After the White House released its proposal for a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that adds new restrictions to legal immigration, many experts have said an agreement appears unlikely. . .
trump, democrats, immigration, daca, deal
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2018-04-29
Monday, 29 January 2018 11:04 AM
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