February 24, 2018

Immigration deal reached by group of Senators

15 February 2018, 08:10 | Glen Norman

Immigration deal reached by group of Senators

Advocates participate at a march to oppose President Donald Trump's order to end DACA on Sept. 10 2017 in Los Angeles

After that, about 1,000 participants a day will begin losing legal protections and work permits, making them vulnerable to deportation.

Additional bills are expected to get Senate votes Thursday, including one by Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that would crack down on cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcers.

The centrists appear to have the highest odds of success. So far, no plan has emerged that seems likely to win the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate.

The clash underlined the hard path any immigration plan faces as Washington remains starkly divided on one of Trump's signature issues. Bipartisan negotiations - now under their third president - have failed to garner significant changes in the legal status of undocumented immigrants, how visas are granted to legal immigrants or how the nation protects the Southern border.

Democrats and some Republicans say they want to help the 'Dreamers, ' young immigrants who have lived in the USA illegally since they were children and have only temporarily been protected from deportation by an Obama-era programme. Republicans control the chamber 51-49 but GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona has been home for weeks battling brain cancer. The goal is to create a bill that can get at least 60 votes. I'm not sure it will. "It kind of depends on the order they come up, too", Flake said. That's the same number Trump has suggested helping with his own wider-ranging but more restrictive proposal.

In September, President Trump announced the elimination of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which protected some of these undocumented immigrants, also known as DREAMers, from deportation. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which tracks closely with the White House's plan.

Lawmakers for months have struggled to craft a compromise after Trump scrapped a program that allowed Dreamers to stay, and gave Congress until March 5 to find a solution.

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Immigration is a political lightning rod with the Republican base, and many GOP lawmakers are wary of opening themselves up to criticism by backing a bill that Trump doesn't support. It is the favorite of McConnell, who has consistently plugged it as the only proposal that has a chance of being signed into law. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

Udall's spokeswoman, Jen Talhelm, said Wednesday that the senator "has voiced support" for an immigration bill introduced by Sens. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that contains many conservative priorities.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, backed legislation to encompass Trump's "four pillars" of an immigration overhaul, which include plans to build the wall, end the visa lottery programme and impose curbs on visas for the families of legal immigrants.

"What we always want to do in the House is have a House Republican position, which we can start from for negotiations", Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The Senate opened the floor Tuesday for debate on immigration reform, which includes a fix to DACA.

Leadership could try to jam senators by forcing them to choose between either passing the Grassley measure or doing nothing on DACA. Angus King, I-Maine, Joe Manchin, D-W.

Asked if he thinks there is too much legal immigration now in the country, the senator said, "I know there are some people (who) think we have too much legal immigration".

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"There's a lot at stake here, I take it personally because this has been a big part of my Senate career", said Sen. GOP leaders are anxious Democrats want to drag out the debate for "weeks and weeks". But the President has thrown his weight behind the Grassley bill. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) echoed that stance, saying the "sooner the better".

But Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said the Grassley measure would be the last proposal to get a vote, not the first, raising the possibility of a take-it-or-leave-it proposition.

Meadows and others said the Grassley measure isn't tough enough.

"Aren't you at a point where here the Democrats have been pleading for months and months and months for justice".

Republican support for the bill is also a nagging unknown.

"It's got the best chance of getting through the House of Representatives, and it's the only one that you hear talked about that the president will sign", Grassley added.

The GOP-led House is taking a different approach from the Senate.

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Monday afternoon, Durbin said he had faith in McConnell to keep his promise to be neutral in the process.

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