Trump backs Grassley immigration plan

Trump backs Grassley immigration plan

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE on Wednesday threw his support behind Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyWhite House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks National Sheriffs' Association backs Biden pick for key DOJ role MORE’s (R-Iowa) immigration bill and urged the Senate to pass it.

“I am asking all senators, in both parties, to support the Grassley bill and to oppose any legislation that fails to fulfill these four pillars — that includes opposing any short-term ‘Band-Aid’ approach,” Trump said in a statement.

The president was referring to the four pillars contained in the White House’s immigration framework: a “lasting solution” for young immigrants living illegally in the U.S., building a border wall, scrapping the diversity visa lottery and reforming family-based immigration.


Trump's statement also appeared to rule out any pared-down proposal that deals with the young immigrants, often called "Dreamers," and border security, indicating he is unwilling to budge from his original demands.

White House officials later Wednesday said that other plans would cause a massive surge of both legal and illegal immigration to the U.S. 
“If they don’t limit family sponsorships for U.S. citizens to spouses and minor children only, whatever number they give you, multiply it by three or four,” the official said, referring to family-based visas. “There are many examples of what something like Sen. Collins has in mind would be dramatically worse than current law and would result in completely untenable consequences for our immigration system.”
It released a statement saying the plan would "increase illegal immigration, surge chain migration, continue catch and release, and give a pathway to citizenship to convicted alien felons."

Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Monday introduced legislation that largely mirrors the White House plan.

It would provide a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought to the country illegally as children in exchange for $25 billion to fund a southern border wall and other security measures, as well as new limits on family visas, which conservatives refer to as "chain migration."

It would also phase out the diversity visa lottery, which allows people from countries with historically low immigration rates to the U.S. to seek visas.

The curbs on family-based immigration is a must-have for conservatives but is considered a non-starter for many Democrats, meaning the Grassley proposal has little chance of garnering the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate.

Senators are debating a number of immigration proposals this week to address young immigrants who benefit from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump rescinded in September with a six-month delay. That delay ends on March 5.

But it’s unclear any legislation can attract 60 votes.

Updated: 12:01 p.m.