Feb. 12 (UPI) — A group of Republican senators will introduce an immigration bill based on President Donald Trump‘s prior proposal that includes a pathway to citizenship for nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants in exchange for funding for a border wall.
The bill, titled the Secure and Succeed Act, satisfies Trump’s wish to set aside $25 billion for border security, including “physical and virtual fencing, radar and other technologies,” limits family-based migration to the nuclear family and reallocates the Diversity Visa Lottery program.
The bill also offers a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. The 1.8 million figure is based on the number of people who meet the requirements of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program begun by President Barack Obama but never written into law.
Although fewer than 1 million people applied for DACA, the Secure and Succeed Act extends a pathway to citizenship for those who didn’t apply but would likely meet the requirements.
The bill is sponsored by Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), John Cornyn (Texas), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), James Lankford (Okla.), David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.).
“This is the only bill that has a chance of becoming law, and that’s because it’s the only bill that will truly solve the underlying problem,” Cotton said in a statement. “It will protect those eligible for DACA but also make sure we don’t end up back here five years from now. By addressing our border security needs and limiting family sponsorship to the nuclear family, it goes far beyond the other half-measures that have been proposed.”
Grassley said the bill is a “reasonable approach to shielding children illegally brought to our country through no fault of their own while also taking the meaningful steps to ensure nobody finds themselves in the same situation in the future.”
“If my colleagues are serious about actually finding a real and permanent solution to the DACA crisis, they should be ready and willing to support this compromise,” Grassley said.
The bill also grandfathers all pending family-based visa applications, the senators said.