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Politics & Policy

Schumer Rejects Trump’s Immigration Framework

Politico has the story:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opposes the immigration framework released by the White House — a potentially fatal blow for the prospective legislation in the closely divided Senate.

The New York Democrat on Friday accused President Donald Trump of using a proposed path for citizenship for young undocumented immigrants as cover for making sweeping — and damaging — changes to the legal immigration system.

“This plan flies in the face of what most Americans believe,” Schumer said on Twitter. While Trump “finally acknowledged that the Dreamers should be allowed to stay here and become citizens, he uses them as a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system and adopt the wish list that anti-immigration hard-liners have advocated for for years.”

As Mark Krikorian noted last night, in addition to containing some decent border-security measures, the framework ends family-based “chain migration” except for spouses and minor children — but not until the entire application backlog is cleared, which could take a decade or more. This would give the Democrats time to undo the change or expand immigration in other ways to offset it.

If the cuts did go into effect, however, they would slash legal immigration dramatically, by hundreds of thousands of people every year. This is, remember, in exchange for a one-time legalization of 1.8 million “Dreamers” who came here as minors. That legalization would also take place starting in about a decade.

In terms of deal-making, it seems to me this is the worst of all possible worlds. Restrictionists have no reason to trust the cuts will actually happen. But liberals also balk at voting for them, even if they can probably be undone later, because they represent a betrayal of the base, not to mention an iffy trade in terms of numbers. In the first five years or so of the cuts, they’d exclude more people than the framework legalizes.

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