What to Know
- The plan would include $25 billion for a border wall.
- Recipients would have legal status revoked due to criminal behavior or national security threats.
- Trump ended the DACA program in September, setting a March 5 deadline.
South Florida's politicians are seemingly split along party lines over President Donald Trump's proposed compromise on immigration.
The Trump administration on Thursday announced a proposal that provides a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants living in the country illegally, in exchange for new restrictions on legal immigration and $25 billion in border security.
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., slammed Trump's immigration plan, suggesting he created the legislative problem over DACA and is using its recipients and Dreamers as "bargaining chips."
The plan has been praised and condemned. Wilson, who represents Florida's 24th district, released a statement unequivocally criticizing the president.
“It is President Trump who put congressional lawmakers in the untenable position of having to negotiate a deal to save DACA when he ended the program for no good reason. Now he wants to hold Dreamers hostage to a plan crafted by anti-immigration hardliners General John Kelly and Stephen Miller, that includes harsh restrictions," Wilson wrote. "If the president truly cares about this issue, he will stop complicating the process and allow lawmakers to continue their efforts to craft a bipartisan solution that shows some compassion and does not use hundreds of thousands of young people as bargaining chips.”
Other local politicians weighed in.
U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, R-Fla., praised the Trump administration announcement as "the most generous proposal for the dreamers that any administration has put forward.”
“It’s very clear that the president is serious about solving the problem of these young individuals who were brought here through no choice of their own," Díaz-Balart, who serves Florida's 25th district, said.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., appeared to support the plan but said Trump's proposal is limited to just "spouses and minor children," adding that the issue of chain migration must be resolved.
“I do not believe that you can create a category of citizens who are the only ones in the country that can’t use that to bring their parents or family members, so you have to deal with chain migration as a whole," Rubio said.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., joined Wilson in criticizing Trump, particularly his much-sought border wall.
“There’s a way to strengthen the border and our border security without blowing $25 billion dollars on a wall that the president insisted Mexico would pay for," Wasserman Schultz said.