They said the curbs to family immigration - which Trump and other conservatives have referred to as "chain migration" - would help offset a surge in legalized immigrants represented by the dreamers, who have been in the country since they were children.
Lankford wouldn't weigh in on whether Trump's aggressive immigration enforcement efforts - including ending protections for hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who have been living and working in the United States legally for close to two decades - are harmful to Central America.
"Those young people are the future", said Hidalgo, whose online biography says she grew up in Colombia, Peru and Mexico before immigrating to the United States and later becoming a USA citizen.
And in the name of halting illegal immigration, he has also demanded Congress budget $25 billion for a "trust fund" for constructing a wall on the US-Mexico border - a major plank of Trump's White House campaign.
"Being able to live in this country means everything to me because I came at a young age so this is the only country that I know", said Danyel Daniele, who was brought to the US illegally from Venezuela when he was 3.
"Trump destroyed DACA, threatened Dreamers with detention and deportation, and is using that threat to enact his hardline immigration policies", said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
"The president's framework is generous and humane, while also being responsible", Cotton said in a statement Thursday. Then it goes to the Hill, and they digest it and develop a bill they think can pass. ...More news: Look out for rare 'super blood blue moon' visible on Jan. 31
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Though Democratic leaders have grudgingly offered wall funding, they have accused the president of leveraging the dreamers as "ransom" to severely constrict legal immigration, calling it a wish list for "anti-immigration hard-liners" and "white supremacists".
Two days later, he rejected a plan brought to him by a bipartisan group of senators - and enhanced the drama by famously complaining about immigrants from "s-hole countries". However, the plan would not allow immigrants' parents to seek lawful status, the officials said.
So President Trump showed his hand on immigration last night.
The fight over protections for Dreamers, which are set to expire in March, was part of the standoff between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate that resulted in a three-day government shutdown that ended on Monday.
The Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of NY, dismissed the plan Friday as a "wish list" for hard-liners. And for some Democrats the window of bipartisan outreach seems to have closed. Jell-O will still be on the post-election table, but a team of new cooks might be able to drastically change the menu of anti-immigrant proposals.
Pelosi said the word "alien" - the term used in the United States Code to describe non-Americans - is "their word" and that the Trump administration should, instead, "embrace it". Should current immigrants and citizens be allowed to sponsor family members, and if so, which ones, spouses, children, parents, siblings?
Kevin Appleby, senior director of global migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies in NY, said the White House proposal goes against Catholic values because it harms the family and goes against Church teaching that calls on Christians to welcome the stranger.
"Not only will it take ten-plus years to clear the chain migration backlog of applications while choking the system, it will open the door to those illegally here who have not yet even applied for legal status, a number which will expand exponentially. The Trump proposal threatens to blow up those negotiations just as they begin".