Heritage calls Trump immigration proposal a ‘nonstarter’

The Heritage Foundation is calling President Trump’s newly unveiled immigration proposal that could give a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants a “nonstarter.”

“Amnesty comes in many forms, but it seems they all eventually grow in size and scope,” said Michael Needham, the director of the conservative think tank’s political arm.

“Any proposal that expands the amnesty-eligible population risks opening pandora’s box, and could lead to a Gang of Eight style negotiation. That should be a nonstarter,” he said.

The White House on Thursday unveiled its plan that would allow as many as 1.8 million young immigrants currently in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship.


That would include the roughly 690,000 recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and another 1.1 million who met the requirements for DACA but did not sign up, an administration official said Thursday. 

“If any amnesty negotiations are to take place, they should remain extremely limited in scope so as to not encourage further illegal immigration,” Needham said. 

The White House is calling for GOP lawmakers to incorporate their plan into new legislation and introduce it the week of Feb. 5, just days before government funding is set to expire.

The plan comes after Trump said he was open to providing a legislative fix for recipients of the DACA program, commonly known as “Dreamers,” as long as he got border security increases. 

Trump’s plan would provide a path to citizenship for some Dreamers in exchange for asking for $25 billion in large part to build the president’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The plan could face steep opposition from conservatives in Congress, who held out against Democratic calls for DACA action in a short-term spending bill that ultimately failed and resulted in a three-day government shutdown last weekend. 

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