Immigration hawks think that Democrats might support lowering legal immigration in return for a permanent amnesty for illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. as minors, The Daily Caller has learned.
The Trump administration has put its full force behind the RAISE Act, with both President Trump and his cabinet secretaries praising the legislation. The bill, which is sponsored by Republican senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, aims to decrease legal immigration from around 1 million annually to roughly 500,000 a year.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote in National Review that a way for the RAISE Act to get 60 votes in the Senate would be for it to include amnesty for the 800,000 or so beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
DACA is the program started by President Obama in 2012 that protects illegal immigrants who arrived as minors from deportation and gives them work permits.
Ten Republican state attorneys general have threatened to sue the federal government if the program isn’t ended by September 5, and the Trump administration could refuse to defend the program much like the Obama administration did with the Defense of Marriage Act.
Krikorian went on WMAL Thursday morning and told The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese, “Now there is a real possibility the plug will be pulled on that program [DACA] and so the Democrats are willing to trade a stable lawful amnesty to replace Obama’s illegal measure in exchange for the bill which was introduce yesterday.”
TheDC was also told by a source in a think tank that supports reducing immigration that he suspects that a form of legislative amnesty will be passed in return for passage of the RAISE Act.
President Trump promised to immediately terminate DACA while on the campaign trail, but has yet to do so. Roughly 100,000 illegal immigrants have benefited from the program in his first few months in office.
The White House has continued to say that the program’s future is under review.