Thursday the White House announced its new immigration framework, an offer that would grant a pathway to citizenship for nearly 2 million so-called dreamers. Today, Nancy Pelosi denounced the plan as racist. From the Washington Free Beacon:
Speaking at the United States Conference of Mayors, Pelosi blasted the framework with racially-charged rhetoric, suggesting that the White House plan seeks to hurt minority groups.
“Let me just say what I said last night: that plan is a campaign to make America white again,” Pelosi said, claiming that the proposal will cut legal immigration by 50 percent…
In her remarks, Pelosi thanked mayors across the country for their “courage” in overseeing sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
“People don’t understand—the one problem I think the current occupant of the White House—they don’t understand that sanctuary cities is [sic] what helps law enforcement. It helps public safety,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also referred to money the White House is requesting for a border wall as ransom. “They want the ransom for these children to be $25 billion dollars for a wall when we have all the needs that we have for infrastructure in our own country,” she said.
The White House proposal would grant a pathway to citizenship not just for the 800,000 or so people currently signed up for DACA but also for those who were eligible but did not sign up. From CNN’s report yesterday:
In what the White House framed as a “dramatic concession” and “compromise,” Trump would accept a path to citizenship not just for the roughly 700,000 undocumented immigrants were covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when it was ended. But the proposal would also cover those undocumented immigrants who meet the DACA criteria but did not sign up and even more who would be newly eligible under the proposal’s timeframe requirements — giving legal status and a pathway to citizenship to about 1.8 million people.
In return, the White House would like to see a $25 billion investment in a trust for border infrastructure and technology, as well as more funds for personnel, and an end to family migration beyond spouses and minor children. The diversity visa lottery would also be abolished, though the visas would be reallocated so that the backlog of people already waiting for family visas and high-skilled immigration green cards would be processed.
In what may end up being the most contentious piece of the proposal, the White House is also looking to close “legal loopholes” that will allow it to deport more immigrants, specifically as it relates to undocumented immigrants from countries that don’t border the United States — which would likely include changes in immigration enforcement authority that would be virtually impossible for Democrats to swallow.
I included that final paragraph to point out that there are parts of this offer that Democrats will find unacceptable, but some of Trump’s supporters find his support for any form of amnesty equally unacceptable.
Given how far apart the parties are on this issue, any agreement is going to probably contain things that both sides view as poison pills. But demonizing the effort out of the gate as racist seems like a ploy aimed at giving Democrats a second bite at the government shutdown apple. Here’s Pelosi pouring gasoline on an already combustible negotiation process.