DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Standing in front of an artist’s portrait of President Donald Trump, Gina O’Briant backed the new framework on immigration reform and border security laid out by the White House. “I certainly do support it,” she said.
Under the framework, President Trump would grant a path to citizenship over a period of 10 to 12 years for 1.8 million people who were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children.
That number reportedly includes the nearly 700,000 people who signed up for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA, and an extra one million people who would be eligible for the program but didn’t register for it.
In return, the President wants $25 billion for a border wall, to limit chain migration to only spouses and minor children and end lottery visas.
O’Briant, President of the Texas Women for Trump Coalition said, “I think it’s the humane thing to do. These children that came over here, they didn’t know they were breaking any laws. Not building a wall is not an option. We’re either a country or we’re not.”
But as it stands now, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he can’t go along with the President’s plan, telling reporters in Washington Thursday, “A pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients is substantially to the left of President Obama, as DACA itself did not have a pathway to citizenship. I think it would be a profound mistake.”
David Carruth, who chairs the Texans for Conservative Principles PAC, agreed with Sen. Cruz and said the President’s proposal is a non-starter. “To me it is, because I don’t think you ought to be offering citizenship to people who have come here illegally under any circumstances,” he said.
But Carruth said he doesn’t want to deport the DACA recipients. “It’s fine for them to stay here and fine for them to work and be renewed for a work permit, potentially for the rest of their lives,” he said.
In an interview with San Antonio radio station KTSA Friday morning, Sen. John Cornyn said, “We’re still trying to digest it and understand it but I think the President’s really taken a big step forward here.”
Negotiators are hoping to strike a deal in the next few weeks.