To be honest, the White House senior staffer who briefed several of us on this immigration plan sounded like he had a gun to his head. I expect there are victims of cannibals who were more enthused about being somone's meal that this staffer was about the number 1.8 million.
That is the number, a compromise multiple people at the White House would like it noted, that the President is comfortable giving citizenship to. They would be DACA recipients or DACA eligible people. The original number floated by people in the know was less than 700,000, but the White House expanded the DACA window and, concurrently, expanded the number of people eligible.
Democrats are already screaming that this is not enough and many of the President's supporters are screaming that it is too many. Senator Tom Cotton tells me he does not expect the President would ever agree to go higher, but I look at this is as a starting point for negotiation.
In any event, the plan overall is totally reasonable, totally responsible, and totally supportable.
The President will agree to citizenship for 1.8 million DACA recipients and, in return, Congress will give him real border security, increases in personnel for immigration and border security, border security on the Canadian border, an end to the Visa lottery and an end to chain migration.
Chain migration should not exist anyway. The President fully supports immigration of a nuclear family, but not all the relatives. That is reasonable. What is drawing complaints from conservatives on this is that the President is offering to grandfather in existing chain migration related visa applications. There are 3.6 million people in the backlog on this and it could potentially take more than a decade to process the whole backlog. As a friend of mine noted, by then Trump will be gone and there will probably be someone worse on immigration suddenly opening the gates again.
The President supports scrapping the Visa lottery and giving the total number of placements available over to a program to expedite immigration of highly skilled workers into the country.
Ultimately, the President might be granting citizenship to 1.8 million, but he wants to curtail the total number of immigrants coming into the country overall. This will pit him against pro-business Republicans and also a lot of Democrats. Also, I am unaware of what the status would be of parents to DACA recipients. But so far I like what I am hearing from the White House. I'm just skeptical anything can pass when the President's base will hate the citizenship bit and the left will hate so much of the rest of it.
I still think there should be a provision for Trump supporters to buy bricks for $100.00 a piece and build an actual, physical wall with them. That would mitigate costs to building a wall and I support a wall.