Trump offers protection for Dreamers in exchange for hard-line programs

26 Jan 18


President Donald Trump released an outline of an immigration plan Thursday that would provide a pathway to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children in exchange for a handful of hard-line measures, including funding for a border wall and changes to family-based immigration.

The Trump framework would:

  • Protect the Dreamers. The White House called for providing legal status for those who enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as well as for those who were eligible but never enrolled. The legal status would include a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship “with requirements for work, education and good moral character.”
  • Fund a border wall. The White House called for a number of measures to increase security along the border, including the establishment of a $25 billion “trust fund” for a “border wall system” and other “border improvements and enhancements.”
  • Reduce family-based Immigration. The White House called for limiting family sponsorship solely to spouses and minor children for both U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders).
  • End the Diversity Visa program. The White House again called for ending the Diversity Visa program, also called the green card lottery, which is designed to provide immigration opportunities to people from countries with historically low levels of immigration to the U.S. The proposal would reallocate the visas from this program to other categories in order to reduce green card backlogs for both family- and employment-based green card applicants.

BAL Analysis: While Trump’s framework for the ongoing immigration negotiations provides a glimpse of where the White House stands on some key issues, it only offers hints at what final legislation might look like. The changes to family migration in particular would mark a dramatic change to the country’s legal immigration system. BAL will continue following the immigration negotiations and will provide clients with updates as more information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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