President Donald Trump’s long-awaited plan to overhaul the immigration system proposes a merit-based system to admit more high-skilled, well-educated immigrants. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images
President Donald Trump predicted Friday there’s a “good chance” that congressional Democrats will decide to work with him to pass his recently unveiled immigration plan before next year’s election, despite every indication to the contrary.
“Will the Democrats give our Country a badly needed immigration win before the election?” he wrote online. “Good chance!”Story Continued Below
Trump on Thursday unveiled his long-awaited plan to overhaul the immigration system, which proposes a merit-based system to admit more high-skilled, well-educated immigrants, rather than those who enter the U.S. based on family ties or because their native country has a low rate of immigration into the U.S. It would also include measures boosting security at the southern border similar to ones he has called for previously, but includes no language concerning the plight of so-called Dreamers, which Democrats have indicated would be necessary to garner their support.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday called Trump’s plan “dead on arrival” ahead of its release, and the plan has received paltry support even from lawmakers of Trump’s own party.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was noncommittal, saying Thursday he looked forward “to reviewing the president’s proposal.”
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And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee and one of Trump’s biggest Hill supporters, said that the White House plan is “not designed to become law.”
Still, Trump appears eager to use the proposal as campaign issue heading into his reelection fight next year, attempting to paint Democrats as unwilling to cooperate to solve what they have acknowledged is a humanitarian crisis at the border.
At a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday to announce his blueprint, he suggested any lack of Democratic support was “possibly political.”
“If for some reason, possibly political, we can’t get the Democrats to approve this merit-based, high-security plan, then we will get it approved immediately after the election, when we take back the House, keep the Senate, and of course, hold the presidency,” Trump said. “But wouldn’t it be nice to do it sooner than that?”
He continued to drive that point Friday, saying in a tweet that “the Democrats now realize that there is a National Emergency at the Border and that, if we work together, it can be immediately fixed. We need Democrat votes and all will be well!”
“Border Patrol is apprehending record numbers of people at the Southern Border,” he added in a second tweet, claiming that “many” migrants being detained were “bad hombres” and that those captured “are being detained & will be sent home.”
“Those which we release under the ridiculous Catch & Telease [sic] loophole, are being registered and will be removed later!” he said.
Trump also tweeted a message to those in the country illegally: “All people that are illegally coming into the United States now will be removed from our Country at a later date as we build up our removal forces and as the laws are changed. Please do not make yourselves too comfortable, you will be leaving soon!”
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