White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump attacks Meghan McCain and her family McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE said Tuesday that he's preparing an immigration plan to present to President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE in the coming days.
Kushner said at Time magazine's Time 100 Summit that he's put together "a very detailed proposal" that encompasses three major themes: improving border security, moving toward a so-called merit-based system and maintaining "our country’s humanitarian values."
"I do believe that the president’s position on immigration has been maybe defined by his opponents by what he’s against as opposed to what he’s for," Kushner said.
The president has been involved in crafting the proposal, Kushner said.
"Probably at the end of this week, next week we’ll present it again and then he’ll make some changes likely, and he’ll decide what he wants to do with it," he said.
Kushner said the border security aspect would look at using physical barriers and technology to "keep illegal goods and keep out people who are coming in illegally while also facilitating trade and the flow of legal people as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”
Kushner added that he'd like to see the U.S. immigration system give more weight to economic qualifications as opposed to family connections. He cited Canada and Australia as models for this approach.
The third point, he said, is that the administration would aim to "maintain our country’s humanitarian values."
The White House endured intense criticism last year after it implemented a policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant families that crossed the border illegally.
Kushner claimed the pitch has the support of multiple factions in the White House, including hard-liner Stephen MillerStephen MillerTrump Defense chief blocked idea to send 250,000 troops to border: report Dave Chappelle refuses to be cancelled White House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee MORE, who has been behind the administration's efforts to curb the flow of immigrants into the country and a recent leadership shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security.
The president's son-in-law and adviser disputed that he and Miller have fought over the issue.
"I’ve had both Stephen Miller and [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman] Kevin Hassett involved, and I think they both agree with what this is," Kushner said. "And I say that if I can get Stephen Miller and Kevin Hassett to agree on an immigration plan, then Middle East peace will be easy by comparison."
Kushner said he did not arrive in Washington intending to work on immigration, but has been working on the plan nonetheless, calling it an "important issue" for the country and the president.
Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a cornerstone of his agenda dating back to his 2016 presidential campaign, when he pledged to construct a wall along the southern border and have Mexico pay for it.
However, he has been unsuccessful in brokering immigration deals with congressional leaders, including notably during the record-long 35-day partial government shutdown earlier this year.
Talks over reforms to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program faltered in 2017 and 2018, and Trump declared a national emergency earlier this year to secure funding for the wall following the lengthy standoff with Congress.