WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed an immigration reform bill being crafted by House Republicans.
“The House moderates will lose all credibility if they accept this sham of a bill, which is extreme and drastically cuts immigration in ways unacceptable to the Senate and the American people,” Schumer said in a statement on Monday. “It holds Dreamers and kids who have been separated from their parents hostage in order to cut legal immigration and enact the hard right’s immigration agenda.”
Politico obtained a working draft of the bill.
The legislation provides $25 billion for the construction of a wall along the U.S-Mexico border. It ends “catch and release,” a policy that requires authorities to release persons who enter the U.S. illegally while they await a hearing before an immigration judge.
The legislation eliminates the visa lottery system and replaces it with a merit-based visa program. It prohibits the separation of undocumented families.
Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can apply for “6-year indefinitely renewable contingent nonimmigrant legal status,” so long as they came to the U.S. before June 15, 2007 and were under age 31 when the program when the program began on June 15, 2012.
DACA is an Obama administration program that allows children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. for a period of time so long as they meet certain requirements such as attending school, working or serving in the military.
The legislation seeks to conform to the four pillars the Trump administration has said must be a part of any immigration deal as well as protect DACA recipients.
The House is expected to debate the measure this week. Also under consideration is a more hardline proposal sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).