“The fact is this president is taking the lead. He’s not waiting on Congress,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News on Tuesday.
Jared Kushner, acting as the President’s senior adviser, is developing a plan to present to Congress with Republican lawmakers, business representatives, conservatives and other groups, but no Democrats this time.
Officials stressed that the plan could evolve in response to feedback. But so far it includes two prongs: A border security bill that would focus, in part, on modernizing ports of entry, and a package of revisions to legal immigration that aims to create a more “merit-based” system giving preference to those with job skills rather than relatives of immigrants already in the country.
A senior administration official told reporters that the total number of immigrants allowed into the country would not change under the plan — only the types of immigrants admitted.
The White House is also working with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on additional legislation that would address the nation’s asylum system, in an effort to stem the flow of migrants across the border, according to the official, who outlined the plan on condition of anonymity because the public discussion was not authorized.
The immigration plan being drafted by the White House is likely to include a provision that mandates, nationally, the E-Verify system that prevents businesses from hiring illegal aliens over American citizens.
Sources close to Breitbart News said President Trump’s administration is looking to include provisions of former Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) Legal Workforce Act, which makes the E-Verify system mandatory across the country, to ensure that U.S. jobs are reserved for Americans and U.S. wages are protected from illegal, cheaper foreign competition.
The White House is expected to detail the plan next week. White House officials did not respond to comment request.
Politico, likewise, reported that sources close to the White House confirmed that the administration is weighing an immigration plan that includes mandatory E-Verify.
END DIVERSITY LOTTERY
On the legal immigration front, it would end the diversity visa lottery, which offers 50,000 visas annually to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Family and diversity visas would be reallocated to employment-based applicants.
The U.S. admits more than 1 million lawful permanent residents each year, but only 140,000 come through employment categories. The rest are relatives, refugees, or immigrants who arrive through the diversity visa lottery.
DISCOURAGE ILLEGAL CROSSINGS
The White House proposal may also address reforms to asylum and detention laws to discourage migrants from traveling to the border to seek refuge, according to those briefed on it. The plan would override a federal court settlement to allow children to be detained for longer than 20 days, and raise the standard to pass a “credible fear” interview, the first stage in certain asylum claims.
LEVEL OF IMMIGRATION IS TOO HIGH
“The chief problem I have with the bill is not the specifics,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “It’s the fact that this proposal does not acknowledge that the level of immigration is too high.”
There are too many to assimilate to our way of life.