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Trump will pitch immigration plan already facing stiff opposition in Congress

Molly O'Toole and Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump will announce a sweeping immigration plan Thursday to boost border security and foreign workers while reducing family reunification, but the White House proposal has little chance of advancing in Congress.

The unveiling of the long-awaited plan, which was prepared by Jared Kushner, will not be accompanied by proposed legislation for Congress to consider, or widespread buy-in from lawmakers whose support would be necessary for it to be enacted.

Trump has similarly struggled to get Congress to back other border and immigration policies, including appropriating money to build a wall along the southern border, his signature campaign pledge. He declared a national emergency on the border to tap the Pentagon budget and other federal funds instead.

The White House framed the Kushner plan as an overdue effort to modernize the sprawling U.S. immigration system, which has defied attempts at reform for decades. Officials said more details, and a formal legislative proposal, would follow in several weeks.

Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, has worked on the proposal for months, consulting several outside groups and briefing conservative lawmakers, but sharing few details in public.

It faces resistance from immigration advocates and other opponents, in part because it does not address the estimated 10.7 million people illegally in the United States, or the so-called Dreamers, the estimated 800,000 migrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.

 

It is also competing with half a dozen bills already introduced in Congress that seek to address the recent surge of Central American families and children arriving at the southern border.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump's closest allies in Congress, poured cold water on the White House plan even before it was announced.

"It's not meant to be a bipartisan solution," he said. "It's meant to be a marker for what we want."

The plan doesn't include Dreamers or thousands of immigrants under Temporary Protected Status -- or anything for Democrats, Graham told the Los Angeles Times en route to introduce his own immigration legislation.

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