In recent weeks, President Trump has told lawmakers he would sign any immigration measure that Congress sent him but also flatly rejected a draft of a deal negotiated by six senators.
Now, the White House is laying out the specific elements it wants to see from a bill offering permanent protection for people in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
A one-page memo sent to congressional Republicans Thursday afternoon backs a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for not just the roughly 700,000 enrolled in the expiring DACA program but for other "DACA-eligible illegal immigrants" who were brought to the U.S. as children. The White House estimates that could cover up to 1.8 million people.
In exchange, the White House wants an immigration measure to include $25 billion for a border wall, though the memo concedes that border security "takes a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, personnel, [and] resources." In other words, not necessarily the coast-to-coast physical structure on the southern border that Trump promised at campaign rallies.
The White House also wants changes to the legal immigration system, including policies that prioritize family members "to spouses and minor children only." The administration also wants to completely eliminate the visa lottery system, which the memo says "is riddled with fraud and abuse and does not serve the national interest."