Trump's immigration plan, designed to get 60 Senate votes, drops like a lead balloon

Stephen Miller is trying to sell an immigration plan nobody want to buy
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The White House released the outlines of its immigration proposal on Thursday, a day after President Trump spoiled the surprise, and Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump's immigration adviser Stephen Miller briefed members of Congress. Miller told congressional staffers that the proposal — with a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children plus $25 billion for border security and a host of conservative immigration restrictions — was designed to get 60 votes in the Senate. The initial reaction in Congress wasn't great, and it was worse outside Congress.

On the right, Breitbart News called Trump "Amnesty Don," Heritage Action's Michael Needham said that "any proposal that expands the amnesty-eligible population risks opening Pandora's box" and "should be a nonstarter," and prominent immigration restrictionist Mark Krikorian said Trump "hasn't sold out his voters yet" but this proposal poses "a real potential for disaster." On the left, United We Dream's Greisa Martinez Rosas called the plan "a white supremacist ransom note" and the ACLU demised it as a "hateful, xenophobic immigration proposal that would slash legal immigration to levels not seen since the racial quotas of the 1920s."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.