U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration bill is facing mounting criticism as Democrats accuse him of bowing to anti-immigration hardliners while conservatives denounce his "mass amnesty."
The White House framework to reach a bipartisan agreement on immigration reform proposes a 12-year pathway to citizenship for approximately 800,000 "Dreamers" – young, undocumented immigrants taken to the United States as children by their parents – in exchange for US$30 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico and strengthen border control.
The bill also suggests measures to reduce legal immigration to the United States, such as ending the visa lottery and limiting the number of available sponsorships.
Senator and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from the state of New York, posted on Twitter Friday that the president is using dreamers "as a tool to tear apart our legal immigration system and adopt the wish-list by anti-immigration hardliners."
Conservatives, meanwhile, are rejecting what they call the "mass amnesty" dominating the debate. Republican legislator Steven King from Iowa, an anti-immigration hardliner, tweeted: "Illegals have No Right to be here & have ALL violated our laws. This #Amnesty deal negotiates away American Sovereignty." In a previous tweet, the Congressman lamented: "we can ABORT, but we can't DEPORT."
The American Civil Liberties Union has alo weighed in, calling Trump's proposal "hateful," while MoveOn.org has reminded Trump that "human beings are not bargaining chips."
Other immigration policies ere also under scrutiny. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its decision to end protections for roughly 60,000 Haitian immigrants.
In November, the DHS announced its decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) granted to Haiti under former President Barack Obama on Jan. 21, 2010, as an immediate response to the Jan. 12 earthquake.
The lawsuit cites comments made by Trump during a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform in which he referred to African nations and Haiti as "shithole" countries and claimed Haitians going to the United States "all have Aids."
Such comments support the claim that "President Trump has made clear that he wishes to reduce the number of immigrants of color to the United States. The rescission of Haiti's (Temporary Protected Status) is part of that agenda."
The NAACP accused Homeland Security of not following established protocols when considering whether to renew the Temporary Protected Status granted to Haitians living in the United States.
According to the lawsuit, Homeland Security should have considered the ongoing cholera outbreak and the recent destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti in 2016, rather than citing stereotypes about Black and immigrant criminality.