House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing hardball with President Trump over immigration reform and called his latest proposal to increase border security, reduce the influx of illegal immigration, and drop the visa lottery system “dead on arrival.”
After initially saying she wanted to work with him to pass meaningful immigration reform and to better secure the southern border between the United States and Mexico, she is now saying his proposal would not take off in Congress.
“The White House has repackaged the worst of its past failed immigration plans, greenlighting the Administration’s barbaric family detention policies, reviving the President’s ineffective and wasteful wall, completely abandoning our patriotic and determined Dreamers and gutting our asylum and refugee protections, which the evangelical community has called the ‘crown jewel of American humanitarianism,” Pelosi said via the Washington Examiner.
She continued: “To say that this plan’s application criteria are ‘merit-based’ is the height of condescension.”
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer echoed her sentiments, calling the proposal a “non-starter.”
Here’s more from the Washington Examiner:
Trump unveiled the plan Thursday afternoon, two days after top White House officials pitched the plan to senators as way to unify the GOP around a single immigration proposal.
The proposal does not address illegals or so-called Dreamers, who arrived here illegally as children and remain in legal limbo under an Obama-era program that is tied up in court.
Pelosi condemned Trump’s proposal to increase merit-based immigration over family migration.
Trump’s proposal would create a point system that favored educated and employed immigrants who speak English over lower-skilled workers and relatives of immigrants with legal status.
The plan would also change asylum and detention laws in order to decrease the incentives for illegal immigration that are causing recent surges at the border.
Despite the House Democrats opposition, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham introduced the proposal in his chamber. The bill would need to pass both chambers before it was to make its way to Trump’s desk to be signed into law. President Trump and Republican contenders for Democratic-held seats are likely to use immigration as a major campaigning issue heading into 2020.