Citizenship in cards for dreamers, but no amnesty.
Amid an uproar over his administration’s ban on H-1B and other work visas and foreign students taking online-only classes, President Donald Trump is said to be working on a merit-based immigration system.
The proposed reforms could include a path to citizenship for some 700,000 dreamers, including about 4,500 South Asians who came to the US without documents as children, the White House indicated Friday. But “This does not include amnesty.”
The Supreme Court in a recent 5-4 decision rebuffed Trump’s attempts to undo the Obama era
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects dreamers from deportation and allows them to work with two-year renewable permits.
“As the president announced today, he is working on an executive order to establish a merit-based immigration system to further protect US workers,” the White House stated.
“Furthermore, the president has long said he is willing to work with the Congress on a negotiated legislative solution to DACA, one that could include citizenship, along with strong border security and permanent merit-based reforms,” it said.
“This does not include amnesty,” the White House said accusing opposition Democrats of scuttling Trump’s bid for a legislative solution for DACA holders.
“Unfortunately, Democrats have continually refused these offers as they are opposed to anything other than totally open borders,” the White House stated.
The official White House statement followed Trump’s interview with Spanish language
Telemundo News channel where he spoke of an executive order on immigration that will include a “road to citizenship” for DACA recipients.
His action on DACA is going to be part of a much bigger bill on immigration, Trump said.
“It’s going to be a very big bill, a very good bill, and a merit-based bill and it will include DACA, and I think people are going to be very happy,” the president told the channel.
“One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We’re going to have a road to citizenship,” Trump said accusing opposition Democrats of breaking a deal with him on DACA.
“I had a deal with the Democrats and they broke the deal. The DACA could have been taken care of two years ago, but the Democrats broke the deal. All of a sudden they just broke it for no reason.”
“Actually, they had a court case that slightly went their way, and they said, ‘Oh, let’s not talk about the deal anymore,'” he said.
But actually the Supreme Court ruling gave the president tremendous powers on the issue, Trump claimed.
“Based on the powers that they (SC) gave, I’m going to be doing an immigration bill,” he said.
“One of the aspects of the bill that you will be very happy with, and that a lot of people will be, including me and a lot of Republicans, by the way, will be the DACA,” Trump said. “It will give them a road to citizenship.”
Meanwhile, in his push to get schools and colleges to reopen this fall, Trump threatened the tax-exempt status of schools that provide what he called “radical indoctrination” instead of education.
ALSO READ: Academics, immigrant bodies, lawmakers oppose international student ban (July 10, 2020)
“Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education,” he tweeted.
“Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!”
Trump administration’s new policy on foreign students that would force those taking online only classes in fall semester to leave has sparked widespread condemnation.
From academics to immigrant bodies to over 100 lawmakers, including Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris and House member Pramila Jayapal, have demanded reversal of the ‘irrational, xenophobic” rule.
Two prestigious educational Institutions, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have filed a lawsuit against the rule. A few others have joined an amicus brief in strong support.
US says foreign students still welcome despite new rule (July 8, 2020)