As lawmakers in the Senate hold an open-ended debate on immigration this week, Morning Shift is looking into an under-reported piece of the story: The significant changes the Trump administration has proposed to our legal immigration system.
In September 2017, President Trump signaled an end to the DACA program, punting the fate of immigrants who were brought here illegally by their parents to Congress, with a deadline of March 5th. Since then, news reports have focused on the roughly 690,000 DACA recipients, whose lives were sent into a state of limbo by Trump’s decision.
But in January, just before the State of the Union address, the Trump administration put out an immigration proposal that included what amounts to the most significant changes to our legal immigration system in more than 50 years. The Trump proposal is not a starting point for the current immigration debate in the Senate, but President Trump would need to sign any legislation that passes, and he signaled Wednesday that he would veto any bill that does not meet his demands.
We discuss how our current immigration system works, what would change under the Trump plan and why it matters.
Tom Gjelten, NPR national correspondent and author ofA Nation Of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story