President Trump on Wednesday again about the dangers of undocumented immigrants, signing no plans to temper his rhetoric even as he prepares for a broad proposal aimed at balancing public perception of his administration's hard-line agenda. scheduled for use at Rose Garden speech on Thursday to throw his support behind a plan developed with his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, to move US immigration toward a "merit-based system" that prioritizes high-skilled workers over those with family already in the country. Several proposals were made to attend, officials said
The proposal, previewed by Kushner and other Trump aides in private briefings on Capitol Hill over the past week, already facing skepticism from lawmakers in both political parties, and there appears to be be no clear path toward advancing the plan through Congress.
But White House aides emphasized that Trump is enthusiastically on board with an effort to demonstrate that legal endorsement to help American companies even as against other groups, including immigrant families seeking asylum and refugees
"This is his proposal," said a senior administration official who, like others in this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to private conversations. “He's been intimately involved in crafting it. We've shown him of where the criticism might come from on the right, and his response is, "I'm happy to talk to them and I'll convince them or why this is the right thing." 1
A recent immigration debates, including the Senate's deliberation on four bills in early 2018, Trump floated support for more liberal immigration positions only to quickly revert to his hard-line stance in the wake of criticism from conservatives. 19659008] That has led to skepticism over just how far Trump will go to build support for a plan that White House aides said does not curtail the overall number of immigration green cards, a major goal of many borders hawks
In a memorial service for slain law enforcement officers Wednesday, Trump showed no signs that he would shift his tone over immigrants to build more moderate support. The president highlighted the case of Cpl. Ronil Singh of Newman, Calif., A police officer who was said to be killed by an unauthorized immigrant from Mexico during a traffic stop in December. [Trumpcalledtheperpetratora"viciouskiller"whocouldhavebeenkeptoutofthecountrybyaborderwallor"whateverthehellittakes"
"People are trying to get into our country because our country's doing well," Trump said. "They haven't come in like this killer came in."
Congress has not passed a major immigration bill in three decades, and efforts at comprehensive reform failed under President George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both of whom emphasized the need to balance efforts to be enforced with the need to expand legal pathways into the United States.
Trump's administration has sharply curtailed the number of refugees in the country and has attempted repeatedly to strip asylum rights for a record number of Central American families that have crossed the US border with Mexico Although Trump has voiced support for a pathway to citizenship for many of the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, he has sought to pair legalization efforts with tough enforcement provisions, including a border wall, more Border Patrol officers and changes to US laws aimed at speeding up deportations.
The United States issues more than 1 million green cards each year granting foreigners legal permanent residency, of which about 140,000 are based on employment and the rest on family ties, refugees status and a diversity lottery.
The new White House plan would distribute more than half of the green cards to immigrants under a point system in which applicants are ranked on such criteria as professional skills, education levels, age and English ability, White House aides said. ] Another criterion, aides said, would be "patriotic assimilation," a concept that would favor immigrants who had shown an active interest in incorporating the nation's culture and way of life. One administration official offered an example in which green-card applicants would be required to pass an exam based on a reading of George Washington's farewell address or Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association.
The White House proposal would also seek to address the mounting border crisis, where the surge of families have overwhelmed the US immigration system. And aides said the plan would call for modernizing legal ports of entry to help prevent the flow of illicit drugs and human trafficking, while also proposing changes to make U.S. asylum laws stricter – something Democrats have resisted.
But the White House officially said it does not address the fate of up to 2 million younger immigrants, known as "dreamers," who have lived in the country illegally since they were brought in as children.
Trump with with boxes GOP senators at the White House last week and several emerged at the plan as a "political document" that Republicans can rally around as Democrats seek to demonize the president on immigration ahead of the 2020 election.
The White House proposal is "not designed to become law," Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.), a Trump ally, said Wednesday at a news conference to his own bill to deal with the border crisis.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) customs reporters that the White House has "not even talked to Democrats" about the plan and expressed doubt that it would win support from his party.
Trump plans to travel to New York on Thursday afternoon for a campaign fundraising event. But White House officials declined an invitation for the president to take part in the grand opening of a museum at the Statue of Liberty – an event expected to attract dignitaries to commemorate the landmark, nearly 133 years ago, that has long been an icon of the United States' openness to immigrants.
Inside the White House, there is little expectation from Trump's aides that the plan will move forward, one official said. The White House adviser, Stephen Miller, a hard-liner who is privately opposed to much of the plan.
White House officials have publicly disputed such characterizations, and Miller has joined Kushner for briefings to lawmakers in an effort to present a united front. Kushner has been a member of the White House at Trump's speech, which has been set for a different tone for the president on immigration, with the president laying out what he has rather than reiterating the child of immigration.
A senior administration official said Kushner briefed the president at least twice on his plan, and was given verbal confirmation from Trump that the president loved it. Kushner, the official said, was forceful to have the president forcefully say that he was presented publicly, fearful it could backfire.
"This is not a legislative vehicle," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for lower immigration levels. “Obviously, it's not going anywhere. It's more of a campaign statement and an outline of what they like and what they don't. ”Trump has routinely railed about the potential of immigrants during his rallies and campaigns that have harsh rhetoric is a key to rallying the president's base in 2020.
But Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax and a longtime Trump friend who has urged him to moderate his stance, said in an interview: “The base is already with him. He could become a little more open on the immigration issue. I think it's going to be very critical in Florida and Arizona. ”Josh Dawsey, Seung Min Kim and John Wagner contributed to this report.