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February 5, 2018 – Policy experts gathered on a press call to analyze President Trump’s immigration proposal, which would dramatically and radically alter the entire U.S. immigration system.

Greg Chen, Director of Government Relations, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), said, “The White House proposal on immigration is aimed at appealing to the nativist base and not at all designed to reach bipartisan compromise. This proposal is completely untethered from common sense or American values and takes us back 100 years to a shameful restrictionist period in American history when racially-based quotas were introduced in Congress. The President is trying to use the self-induced crisis of rescinding DACA to force through a monumental change in our entire legal immigration system. The framework would cut legal immigration by half, cruelly and needlessly keeping Americans apart from their family.”

Sameera Hafiz, Senior Policy Strategist, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, said, “Trump may have shifted the tone of his voice during the State of the Union this week, but the message he delivered was exactly the same.  He showed, once again, no serious intention of addressing the crisis he manufactured by rescinding DACA in September of last year.  Instead, he continues to talk about denying humanitarian protections to those seeking safety and criminalizing immigrants and their families.  It’s time to put down the nativist playbook and find a real solution for our country’s immigrant youth.”

Tom Jawetz, Vice President of Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress, said, “The true and transparent motivation behind this framework is to tear down diversity in our country, terrorize immigrant communities, and turbocharge arrests and deportations. Having created the fear that Dreamers now face by ending DACA, this administration is now seeking to capitalize on that anxiety in order to radically reshape our legal immigration system going forward and, in doing so, reshape the face of America.”

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Chris Rickerd, Policy Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union’s National Political Advocacy Department, said, “Border communities, border members of Congress, border-security experts, and public opinion are overwhelmingly allied against Trump’s wasteful, harmful wall.  He has drawn up a $25 billion plan – with massive, 250-mile construction in South Texas to start – that would necessitate large-scale seizures of private property.  Border barriers get constructed by waiving every applicable law, irreparably harming the environment.  Dreamers, many of whom are border residents, must not be bargaining chips for Trump’s monumental obsession: the administration’s purported compromise on the wall and enforcement agents should be flatly rejected.”

See the American Immigration Lawyers Association resource page on the White House proposal here.

A recording of the call is available here.