Trump Unveils New (likely doomed) Immigration Plan

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump announced a broad plan to reform border security and legal immigration during a speech on Thursday afternoon, calling for changes that would favor young, educated immigrants instead of those with family ties to the US.Yet even as Trump cast the measure as a consensus plan that would finally solve one of Washington’s most intractable challenges, there were signs the proposal faces an uphill battle for consensus even among the Republican Party’s own ranks. And Democrats are all but certain to oppose it, deeming its reforms drastic and inhumane.The measure calls for replacing longstanding family-based immigration rules with a points-based system that would favor highly-skilled, financially self-sufficient immigrants who learn English and pass a civics exam.

It does not propose any legal status for young immigrants brought to the United States as children, a group known as Dreamers, leaving that issue unresolved.In remarks from the Rose Garden, Trump said the plan would “transform America’s immigration system into the pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world” while filtering out what he said were “frivolous” claims of asylum.”Our proposal builds upon our nation’s rich history of immigration, while strengthening the bonds of citizenship that bind us together as a national family,” he said.Trump boasted his measure was not drafted by politicians, but instead utilized input from law enforcement professionals to make the US southern border “100% operationally secure.”

Yet it is politicians who will ultimately need to vote for the proposal, and there hasn’t been clear buy-in from Republicans on Capitol Hill on the plan, which was spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Even within the White House, there are divisions over how to approach immigration policy, though one administration official disputed that.A senior Republican familiar with internal and external White House discussions told CNN that while some at the White House, such as Trump’s immigration adviser, Stephen Miller, want to focus the West Wing’s efforts mostly on border security issues, others like Kushner say they are willing take a broader approach.This broader approach is likely to eventually include using the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to strike a deal with Democrats, the source said. But Trump made no mention of the DACA program in his remarks on Thursday, and the current proposal does not contain any nods toward granting that group legal status.

By Maegan Vasquez, Kevin Liptak, lauren Fox for CNN POLITICS

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