President Donald Trump’s immigration plan has been denounced by both hardline conservatives and pro-immigration activists.
Introduced in the wake of the government shutdown, the proposal would offer a 12-year path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children. That’s more than double the number protected under the Obama-era executive program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which the Trump Administration is winding down.
The plan also allocates $25 billion for a wall along the country’s southern border and additional security protections in the region. It would also curtail what Republicans have called “chain migration,” prohibiting green cards for the siblings and parents of immigrants.
Trump’s so-called “base” — the hardline right-wingers who vehemently oppose what they call “amnesty” in immigration policy — have rallied against the plan’s accommodations to Dreamers. Breitbart News, the outlet previously helmed by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, has jeered at “Don’s Amnesty Bonanza,” reprinting claims that the deal is “the beginning of the end of the G.O.P. majority in the House
On the other end of the spectrum, however, the plan faces widespread condemnation for what many say amounts to a drastic crackdown on immigration rights. They say the DACA solution is a red herring that obfuscates the plan’s “anti-immigrant wish list,” as Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Twitter.
The American Civil Liberties Union described the plan as a “hateful proposal” that “would slash legal immigration to levels not seen since the racial quotas of the 1920s.”
“The only community that benefits from this supposed generosity are white supremacists,” the organization said.
“Let’s call this proposal for what it is: a white supremacist ransom note,” Greisa Martinez Rosas, advocacy director for the immigration action group United We Dream, said in a statement. “Trump and (White House adviser) Stephen Miller killed DACA and created the crisis that immigrant youth are facing.”
The plan’s future in Congress remains uncertain. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected the proposal on Friday, saying it “flies in the face of what most Americans believe.”
According to a number of people who spoke with Trump at Mar a Lago over the two days he was there, the president kept an obsessive eye on media coverage around the shooting, watching interviews with survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.
The sources also told The Post that Trump canvassed the opinion of his guests at the exclusive resort, asking whether he should take a stand on gun control in the wake of the massacre.
And if the president was indeed watching the reaction of the surviving students, they sent a clear message to Trump: take action.
Indeed, at a rally organized by student activists from Parkland, high school senior Emma Gonzalez told the crowd: “We need to pay attention to the fact that this isn’t just a mental health issue. He wouldn’t have been able to kill that many people with a knife.”
She also called out the president, highlighting the significant donations he received from the NRA in advertising sponsorship during the 2016 election campaign, stating: “If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a ‘terrible tragedy,’ I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the NRA.”
The president is expected to meet with some of the Parkland students on Thursday for a “listening session” although it is not yet clear which students will be invited to voice their opinions to Trump.