On Thursday, January 25, 2018, the White House released an outline of the President’s plan for DACA recipients and “Dreamers.” The plan is widely considered to be a starting point for negotiations which the White House has released in advance of the promised bi-partisan immigration debate that was negotiated by Senate leaders to end the recent government shutdown.
The White House framework includes the following key points:
- Earned path to citizenship over a 10-12 year period for DACA recipients and those who are eligible for DACA, with provisions for revocation in the event of criminal conduct, fraud, public charge or security concerns.
- Limit family-based immigration to the nuclear family, including spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents while eliminating sponsorship for siblings, parents, and adult children. This new limitation would not apply to those cases already in progress.
- Eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery.
- Require $25 billion for border wall system and border enhancements.
- Require additional funding to hire more enforcement personnel.
- Reform hiring and pay system to ensure recruitment and retention of personnel.
- End so-called “catch-and-release” and ensure prompt removal of illegal border-crossers.
- Introduce immigration court reforms to improve efficiency and reduce fraud.
- Use expedited removal to deter visa overstays.
- Ensure synthetic drugs do not enter the country.
As a starting point for negotiations, this framework is unlikely to be enacted as presented and will most likely be changed by both the House and Senate in order to secure enough votes for passage of a bipartisan immigration bill. However, this White House framework signals areas of importance to the President that must be considered in the legislative process. While the President may be willing to compromise, it is likely that there are some areas where he will not wholly concede, such as funding for the border wall and an end to family-based immigration for parents, siblings, and adult children.
Steps to Take Now
Because the ability to sponsor siblings, parents and adult children is likely to be curtailed on a prospective basis, potential sponsors should contact a Foster immigration attorney now to begin the process of sponsoring their qualifying family members now in order to take advantage of “grandfathering” provisions in any final legislation.
DACA recipients and Dreamers should prepare now to ensure eligibility for future benefits. Dreamers are urged to schedule a consultation with their Foster immigration attorney to ensure they are taking the steps now that will best position them for immediate action when legislation passes. Dreamers may call 844-30-DREAM, or visit our website to set up a consultation.