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Trump open to citizenship for dreamers in exchange for $25 bn for his wall

Trump had told reporters that he was open to a path to citizenship for some of the younger undocumented immigrants

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

DACA, Donald Trump, Dreamers,immigration, deportation

The is open to a path to citizenship for some 1.8 million of America's so-called "Dreamers" in exchange for $25 billion for the construction of a wall along the Mexican border and other security measures, officials said on Friday.

Such a proposal, senior officials said, comes days after the Democrats and Republicans agreed to bringing in an immigration bill on the floor before February 6 when the current short-term extension of funding of the government comes to an end.

Noting that the proposal would be handed over to the Senate, the officials hoped that the Senate Majority Leader would introduce it on the floor before February 6.

They described this as the Congress's best chance to fix the immigration system that would benefit recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or

As per the proposal, the path to citizenship would be given to 690,000 immigrants covered by or an estimated 1.1 million who are eligible but did not apply.

Such immigrants can apply for legal status subject to meeting certain work and education requirements, to be determined by the Congress.

The Obama-era programme was ended by Trump last September.

"This truly represents a bi-partisan compromise position. We have no doubt that if this legislation were brought to the floor, it would easily garner 60 votes," an official said on condition of anonymity.

"This is the president's position. Then it goes to the Hill and they digest it and develop a bill they think can pass...If it's realistic, he'll sign it. If not, he won't," he said.

On Thursday, Trump had told reporters that he was open to a path to citizenship for some of the younger undocumented immigrants, but insisted that there would be no deal on it without a Congressional funding of a wall across the border with Mexico

"We're going to morph into it. It's going to happen, at some point in the future, over a period of 10 to 12 years," he told reporters during an impromptu news conference at the before he left for Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

The is scheduled to roll out its immigration framework on Monday, which would be based on four agreed-upon pillars -- securing the border and closing legal loopholes, ending extended-family chain migration, cancelling the visa lottery and providing a permanent solution on DACA.

Officials described it as an "extremely generous but a take it or leave it proposal by the US President".

Democrats and pro-immigrants activists were quick in rejecting the proposal.

"We will oppose it. Most if not all Democrats will oppose it. Some Republicans will, too," said Frank Sharry, from pro-immigrant America's Voice.

"We are not going to allow Stephen Miller to exploit a crisis that he and his boss created to take a wrecking ball to the and enact his nativist wish list," he said.

Republican Senator Lindsay Graham welcomed the proposal.

"I welcome White House input," he said.

First Published: Fri, January 26 2018. 07:18 IST