Trump’s Proposal on Citizenship


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Immigrants’ future hang in the balance as congress debates, pathway to citizenship.

Gretchen Baez

It hasn’t always been the easiest process for immigrants to gain citizenship in the United States, but after President Donald Trump took office, pathway for citizenship became even more challenging. President Trump began his presidency with a focus that has already affected many families by increasing barriers to immigration. He promised a literal barrier of a wall that would be built on the border of U.S. and Mexico. He has also mentioned that he wanted Mexico to pay for the wall, but the country has held back. Many critics argue that building a wall goes against what the Lady Liberty stands for. The Statue of Liberty, located in the city of New York, represents hope to the immigrants arriving abroad to America looking for opportunity and shelter.

Just last year, President Trump wanted to put an end to the Obama program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. He actually urged Congress to pass a replacement before he began phasing out the program. Along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Trump used an angry tone to argue that the ones living in the country illegally are lawbreakers who negatively affect the native-born Americans by lowering wages and taking their jobs. But now Mr. Trump finds himself recognizing those people for their hard work and good work ethic.

Late January of 2018, The White House revealed President Trump’s proposal that contradicted what he has said in the past and now professes support to a “clean” bill, or like he called it, “a bill of love,”  to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. He said this a few days after rejecting a bipartisan plan, an agreement of two political parties that usually oppose each other’s policies, with that as its main focus. This kind of proposal is one that could anger conservative Republicans because they said that Trump is not following on what he said he would do when he was elected for president of The United States.

President Donald Trump has offered citizenship to nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants. This is a very significant recognition for Democrats or those who say they do not support any deal that does not provide citizenship. He said it’s going to happen over a 10- to 12-year period. This would include all of  those who are protected from deportation and border security by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, those who haven’t signed up but still meet the DACA criteria and those who would be newly eligible under the requirements.

“He’s trying to get a bill together that will get him Democrats and Republicans to support,” said Douglas Barnshaw, a U.S. government teacher at Round Lake High School. “And he’s not going to get Republican support without having something with border security,” he added.

Although President Trump is proposing new opportunities to the people who have been working so hard,  waiting for news like this one, Trump is also asking for things in exchange. One of those which include the $25 billion investment to build the border wall. He wants to guarantee a secure and lawful border and put an end to “chain migration” and only allow nuclear families to stay together. He said this will terminate the ability to U.S. citizens to petition for “green cards” for their parents and sibling limiting visas to only their children and spouses.

President Trump is making it difficult to show his position when he expresses sympathy for those covered by DACA but is also demanding an end to illegal immigration. Because of this, Democrats and Republicans are struggling on finding a compromise. Lawmakers as well are finding it hard to come up with an agreement because the DACA will expire for many in the month of March. This means they’ll have to move fast before putting the dreamers at risk of deportation.

Both parties are going to have to compromise with each other to get what they want. “The good news is (for those DACA recipients and who would fall onto the path to citizenship), it appears that there is a majority of people in the U.S. congress that support that concept,” said Barnshaw.

Those children covered by the DACA are now 20-30 year olds who still continue to pursue their dreams finding hope through the program. These recipients’ future hangs in the balance as congress debates, hoping for the 60 votes from the senate for a DACA bill.