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Flake immigration bill looks to bridge gap between Trump, Democrats

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., walks to the senate chamber for early morning votes, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, at Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will introduce an immigration bill this week that will seek to bridge the negotiation gap between Democrats in Congress and President Donald Trump.

The Preserving Immigration Legal Levels and Achieving Readiness Act will offer the president a few items on his immigration checklist while also allowing a few wins for Democrats.

The act would allocate $25 billion for a border trust security trust fund, of which $1.8 billion will be made available annually for improvements and road constructions, among other things.

It would also increase Border Patrol hiring.

Related: Trump plan would sharply change legal immigration

In exchange, the bill would give a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, something that was already proposed by the White House.

However, the bill differed slightly from Trump’s plans. It would reallocate family-based immigration visas to first tackle the family-sponsored immigrants backlog, something Republicans would likely oppose.

After the family-sponsored backlog is eliminated, an initial 10,000 of the visas will be given to people with doctorates in science and math, another 10,000 will go to immigrants with startup investments and 5,000 will go to employment visas.

Flake’s bill would eliminate the diversity visa lottery, another program that has been maligned by Trump.

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