Trump says chain migration 'cannot be allowed' in immigration legislation

Trump says chain migration 'cannot be allowed' in immigration legislation
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President Trump tweeted Friday against "chain migration" in immigration laws, amid debate on a permanent legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
 
"CHAIN MIGRATION cannot be allowed to be part of any legislation on Immigration!" Trump tweeted.
 
"Chain migration" is a term used by immigration hard-liners to describe the family-centric immigration system currently in place. Under the current system, U.S. citizens can petition for their foreign spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21 years of age to become permanent residents.
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The tweet comes amid debate on a potential deal to replace DACA, which Trump rescinded last week.
 
Late Wednesday, Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump is right: The visa lotto has got to go Schumer predicts bipartisan support for passing DACA fix this year No room for amnesty in our government spending bill MORE (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leacer Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) discussed the issue with Trump at the White House, prompting talk of a deal being reached.
 
But Trump Thursday said no deal had been reached and seemed to link a DACA solution to the construction of his proposed border wall — a no-go for Democrats.
 
That left Democrats uneasy, questioning both Trump's reliability as an interlocutor and his grasp on the basic concepts behind the issue. 
 
Meanwhile, Trump was blasted by right-wing media for negotiating "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants.
 
Trump Thursday denied that he discussed a pathway to legal status with Schumer and Pelosi, but the Democrats' preferred bill, the DREAM Act, would give undocumented immigrants residency with a means of gaining citizenship.
 
“We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One Thursday.
 
By shifting the immigration discussion toward chain migration, Trump gave a nod to a Republican immigration proposal, the RAISE Act.
 
Under the RAISE Act, proposed by Republican Sens. Tom CottonTom CottonOvernight Finance: GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few no votes | Highlights from day two of markup | House votes to overturn joint-employer rule | Senate panel approves North Korean banking sanctions GOP senator: CBO moving the goalposts on ObamaCare mandate Cruz: It’s a mistake for House bill to raise taxes MORE (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.), the immigration system would change from a family-based system to a merit-based system, meaning fewer foreign relatives of citizens and permanent residents would be eligible to immigrate to the United States.
 
Trump endorsed the proposal, which would also cut legal immigration in half, at a White House event last month.