Trump Offers Hope For Undocumented Migrant “Dreamers”
After months of uncertainty, Donald Trump has given young undocumented migrants some hope. This shift in stance has been hailed as a major breakthrough and marks a change in rhetoric from past months. On Wednesday 24th January, Trump spoke to reporters before departing for Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. In his speech, he outlined his plans for so-called “Dreamers” to be granted citizenship after a period of “10 or 12 years”.
Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator said: “I truly appreciate President Trump making it clear that he supports a path to citizenship for Daca recipients. This will greatly help the Senate efforts to craft a proposal which President Trump can sign into law.” While this might still be in its early stages, it marks a step forward and a far cry from the Government shutdown in the middle of January.
Democrats agreed on a short-term funding bill in an exchange for a vote on the immigration debate in order to end the government shut down. While this might be a short-term victory and will open the floor for debate, some are concerned that Trump’s immigration plan is going to be difficult to get behind.
For starters, he wants to put an end to the highly popular visa lottery programme which allows 50,000 individuals from countries around the world to come to the US every year. He also wants to reduce family-based immigration, which would make it more difficult for Americans and non-Americans with settled status to bring spouses, parents, adult children and grandchildren to the United States. And finally, he wants to put aside an additional $25 billion for border security, which many have speculated would be used to build his controversial border wall.
At the moment, around 700,000 undocumented migrants are protected from deportation by a programme known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). In September, the Trump administration announced the end of the programme with a six-month period for Congress to debate a new system. Polling has shown that the vast majority of Americans are in support of these people being granted “Amnesty” from deportation.
For many so-called Dreamers, the United States is the only home they have ever known, so deportation would mean returning to a country where they have no ties.