WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump proposed legislation on Thursday that provides a path to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million young, unauthorized immigrants in exchange for an end to decades of family-based migration policies, a massive border wall and a vast crackdown on other immigrants already living in the country illegally.
Describing the plan as “extremely generous” but a take-it-or-leave-it proposal by the president, White House officials said they hoped it will be embraced by conservatives and centrists in Congress as the first step in an even broader effort to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.
But the plan — drafted by Stephen Miller, the president’s hard-line domestic policy adviser, and John Kelly, the White House chief of staff — was immediately rejected by Democrats, pro-immigration activists and some Republicans, with some describing it as nothing but a heartless attempt to rid the country of immigrants and slam shut the nation’s borders.
“We will oppose it. Most if not all Democrats will oppose it. Some Republicans will, too,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group. “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 Statue of Liberty and enact his nativist wish list.”
Eddie Vale, a Democratic consultant working with a coalition of immigration groups, described the president’s proposal as an effort to sabotage bipartisan talks on the issue in the hopes of winning passage for “a white supremacist wish list.”