Politics

Rohrabacher’s Border Wall Funding Plan: Let Rich Immigrants Pay for It

California Republican says he discussed proposal with Trump in meeting

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher says President Donald Trump was impressed by his immigration proposal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said he told President Donald Trump that he knows how to pay for the border wall: sell U.S. citizenship to rich foreigners.

The 15-term Republican pitched the idea during a 45-minute meeting with Trump on Tuesday in the Oval Office, according to accounts in California newspapers. He told reporters that Trump was impressed.

Rohrabacher’s plan would involve ending a lottery program that awards citizenship to 50,000 people annually, most of them from Africa and Eastern Europe, the Los Angeles Times reported. Instead, the same number of wealthy people would be allowed to apply for citizenship, which would cost successful applicants $1 million each.

“We have 50,000 people come into the country every year chosen by a lottery, which is ridiculous. If we’re going to have people come in, OK, let’s choose the people coming in,” Rohrabacher told the newspaper on Wednesday.

Rohrabacher discussed other topics with the president, but Trump was “especially keen” on the border wall idea, Rohrabacher told the Orange County Register. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and strategist Steven Bannon were also reportedly in the office during the meeting.

A vocal supporter of Trump, Rohrabacher has been criticized by his own party for being too cozy with Russia.

Democrats have already targeted his district, which Hillary Clinton carried by 2 points last fall. Two Democratic candidates have already announced plans to challenge him.  

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