Monday, April 6, 2020

As Supreme Court is set to rule on DACA, Kushner Revives Immigration Plan

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is trying to revive a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, anticipating that a looming Supreme Court ruling on an Obama-era program that protects young, undocumented immigrants could give the nettlesome issue new life.

Trump and Kushner met with Republican senators at the White House last week to discuss a range of immigration issues, including construction of the border wall, crossings at the border, potential immigration legislation and the case before the Supreme Court. That case could decide the fate of immigrants brought to the country as children.

The proposal is nearly identical to one that Mr. Kushner tried to push last year, with little open support from business leaders and none from Democrats. It would decrease the number of family-based immigration visas and increase employment-based visas, according to people briefed on the plan.

The White House has insisted it would streamline the process and make it easier for H-1B high-skilled worker visas to be obtained, but some activists say that it would most likely toughen the standards for applying for asylum. So far, immigration hawks and many business groups, long covetous of more H-1B visas, have remained cool to Mr. Kushner’s suggestions, and it is unclear whether the plan is anything more than a framework to point to after the Supreme Court rules on the legality of Mr. Trump’s ending of DACA.

The court is expected to rule no later than June, meaning that as he seeks re-election, Mr. Trump could have to decide whether to start deporting DREAMers. After Thursday’s White House meeting, Senator Lindsey Graham, said the main message was that if Mr. Trump “wins in court with DACA, we’re not going to let these people have their lives ruined, but we also want to address why we have these problems.”

Administration officials have indicated that some form of Mr. Kushner’s plan would be the president’s offer after the Supreme Court rules. But the plan does not address how to handle the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers who would face deportation if the Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Trump’s administration lawfully lifted their protection.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

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