President Donald Trump explained his rationale for offering 1.8 million illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship in his new proposed fix for the DACA program, in a Saturday evening tweet.
I have offered DACA a wonderful deal, including a doubling in the number of recipients & a twelve year pathway to citizenship, for two reasons: (1) Because the Republicans want to fix a long time terrible problem. (2) To show that Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
The White House released the contours of its legislative framework to codify DACA into law Thursday, which is accompanied by $25 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, an end to chain migration, and an end to the diversity visa lottery program. The pathway to citizenship element of the framework was largely denounced by immigration restrictionists.
Trump explained in the tweet that he desires a permanent solution to the DACA problem which has vexed policymakers for years. DACA recipients and so-called “dreamers” are illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Former President Barack Obama created the DACA program in 2012 allowing some illegal immigrants to be shielded from deportation and issued work permits. Trump ended the program in September, citing its likely unconstitutionality.
The president also explained that he offered a pathway to citizenship for such a large illegal immigrant population in order to demonstrate that Democratic lawmakers are not interested in finding a permanent solution on the White House’s terms.