Jared Kushner working behind the scenes to increase legal immigration
Jared Kushner (Time)

Jared Kushner is working on a behind-the-scenes plan to expand legal immigration, even as President Donald Trump threatens to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president's son-in-law and senior adviser has been working, with the help of business and agricultural organizations, since January on a proposal that would expand the number of workers allowed to enter the country, reported Politico.

Trump personally tasked Kushner with prioritizing legal immigration, which would require congressional authorization to implement, and he hopes to deliver a proposal by summer.

Stephen Miller, another senior White House adviser who has been instrumental in some of the Trump administration's most controversial anti-immigration policies, has not attended any of the working group meetings overseen by Kushner, according to a half dozen people who have taken part in them.

However, Miller has the authority to sign off on any plan the working group develops even before the president does.

Kushner's group is considering boosting the number of low- and high-skilled workers, in addition to permanent and temporary workers, according to four sources who spoke with Politico.

He's being urged to offset those increases with reductions in other types of legal immigration, the website reported.

Kushner's working group has in recent weeks included Brooke Rollins from the Office of American Innovation, and Theodore Wold and Ja'Ron Smith, both special assistants to the president for domestic policy.

Some administration officials are pushing Kushner to consider increasing the number of low-skilled and seasonal workers allowed to enter the U.S., but so far the president's son-in-law hasn't expressed any particular plan discussed during the meetings.

“Everyone continues to look at Jared as the great dealmaker,” said one former Trump adviser who's still close to the White House. “I think people give him too much credit.”