2019-05-15 21:48:391 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Jared Kushner (Image source: Public domain)
Fixing the immigration problem continues to be a focus of Donald Trump's, despite finally getting the money he wanted to build the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
He'd said all along that this would solve the immigration problem, but with the number of border apprehensions the highest it's been since 2007, Trump needs to figure something else out to appease his base who are looking for results.
He asked his senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner to pitch a plan to overhaul the immigration system in a closed-door meeting with GOP senators on Tuesday. And while some insiders have said he didn't have solutions to some key concerns, Trump is set to unveil the plan on Thursday.
Kushner proposed changing immigration to a merit-based solution that gives a higher priority to highly-skilled workers, and publicly the GOP senators left the Capitol Hill luncheon praising the plan.
Republican officials said privately, however, that Kushner didn't have clear answers to questions about his plan, and this prompted Stephen Miller, another senior adviser, to interrupt and take over.
A senior official with the Trump administration disputed that the plan didn't go over, contending that Kushner, Miller, and senior economic advisor Kevin Hassett presented the plan jointly.
Kushner told Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that his plan wouldn't address DACA, but this confused some in the meeting, as all along they have been looking to find a way to deal with DACA recipients, knowing that's necessary for gaining Democratic support.
Some GOP senators left the meeting questioning if Kushner understood the issue at hand, and while they appreciated his efforts, they didn't believe it would be put into play anytime soon.
"He's in his own little world," said a person familiar with the discussion in the meeting. "He didn't give many details about what was in [his plan]. ... And there were a number of instances where people had to step in and answer questions because he couldn't."
Yet by Wednesday, senior White House officials announced that Trump would be unveiling Kushner's plan on Thursday to overhaul immigration, put new security measures in place at the border, and increase the educational and skills requirements for migrants who are allowed to stay.
This works to take care of one of the issues that the administration seems to have been working on. For the past year they have been implementing and floating plans to stop the number of families who cross the border seeking asylum.
This proposal will cut back on family-based immigration that allows immigrants to bring their spouses and children to join them in the States, according to officials. Instead, immigrants will get new opportunities if they have specific skills or U.S. job offers. Yet, they must be able to demonstrate English proficiency, educational attainment, and pass a civics exam.
Just as the plan didn't go over well with GOP senators, it's also not expected to do well Democratic senators.
The current breakdown allows around 12 percent of immigrants to stay in the country legally based on their skills, yet more than half are allowed to stay because they have family currently living in the U.S. Kushner's plan reverses those numbers.
While officials say this plan has a long way before officially being put in place, Trump will reveal the plan and some of its details in a Rose Garden ceremony on Thursday afternoon.
22 August, 2019
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Jair Bolsonaro (Image source: Public domain) After last year's wildfires in California, the United States knows a little about the pain of going......More
22 August, 2019
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Jay Inslee (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons) The second Democratic nominee in a week has dropped out of the race for the 2020......More
22 August, 2019
New research reveals older people with a weak hand grip could signal diminished cognitive and memory. Loss of handgrip by 11 pounds put people at a 10% risk of cognitive impairment and an 18% risk......More