WASHINGTON – A group of United States Republican lawmakers unveiled on Wednesday the details of an immigration bill that has the support of President Donald Trump and proposes to offer “Dreamers” the possibility of legally residing in the country, although it does not provide for granting them citizenship.
The supporters of the bill, who include Bob Goodlatte and Puerto Rico’s Raul Labrador, unveiled the bill at a press conference.
The bill complies with the “Four Pillars” that emerged out of the meeting between Trump and a group of lawmakers on Monday at the White House.
The bill tackles the issue of the future of the 690,000 youths, known as “Dreamers,” who came to the US when they were children and were permitted to stay under ex-President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was established in 2012 and suspended by the Trump administration in Sept. 2017.
When it was suspended, Trump called upon Congress to clarify the situation of the Dreamers before March 2018.
The initiative of the Republican lawmakers proposes that the beneficiaries of DACA be able to have a permit that allows them to reside in the US, without being deported, for three years, with the possibility of renewing this permission indefinitely.
It does not open the door to the possibility of obtaining US citizenship, one of the key points for the opposition Democrats.
The initiative also proposes to allot $30 billion for the construction of a controversial wall on the US border with Mexico, and do away with the visa lottery program, which benefits citizens of countries who have a low number of immigrants to the US.
It also aims to end the phenomenon of so-called “chain migration,” which sees US citizens and Green Card holders facilitate the entry of their family members to the country.
According to a summary of the proposals given to the press, the level of immigration would be reduced by 25 percent in total.
In a statement, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders thanked the lawmakers on behalf of Trump and said that the legislative proposal seeks to comply with the main priorities of the president for US citizens.
The president hopes to advance towards legislation that ensures border security, ends chain migration, does away with the visa lottery program and tackles the DACA issue in a responsible manner, she added.