The Common Sense Coalition, made up of eight Democrats, eight Republicans, and one Independent, has struck a bipartisan deal on immigration even though they know President Donald Trump will likely veto it if it reaches his desk. (I feel like this is the tenth bill that has come up on this subject)
It includes a few portions from Trump’s bill, but lacks other “pillars” the president has emphasized like eliminating the diversity visa lottery.
These are the four pillars Trump desires: citizenship for the 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought to America at a young age by their parents, border security, ending the diversity visa lottery, and ending chain migration.
Here are the GOP senators that make up this coalition: Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Cory Gardner, Jeff Flake, Mike Rounds, Lisa Murkowski, Johnny Isakson, Lamar Alexander.
The New York Times reported:
The bipartisan measure, sponsored by eight Democrats, eight Republicans and one independent, would appropriate $25 billion for border security, including construction of the president’s proposed wall at the Mexican border, over a 10-year period — not immediately, as Mr. Trump demands.
It would also offer an eventual path to citizenship, over 10 to 12 years, for 1.8 million of the young undocumented immigrants, but would preclude them from sponsoring their parents to become citizens. It would make no changes to the diversity visa lottery system, which Mr. Trump wants to end.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said it’s more of “a two-pillar bill instead of a four-pillar bill.”
The Washington Times stated that the Department of Homeland Security believes this plan “destroys” the department’s “ability to enforce immigration laws, and would amount to an ‘amnesty for over 10 million illegal aliens.'”
Trump has pushed senators to oppose any bill that does not have his four pillars. From The New York Times:
“I am asking all senators, in both parties, to support the Grassley bill and to oppose any legislation that fails to fulfill these four pillars,” Mr. Trump said in the statement, referring to the chief sponsor of the measure, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa.
The Grassley bill would provide a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants, end the visa lottery program, build a border wall and severely limit what he calls “chain migration,” which is family-based immigration. It would also increase the use of radar and tower-based surveillance, sensors and drones mostly along the Southwest border, increase the number of border patrol officers and deploy the National Guard to help construct border fencing and operate some of the surveillance equipment.
Mr. Grassley said that in offering the young immigrants, known as Dreamers, a chance to become citizens, Mr. Trump had been “much more compassionate on a compromise than anybody thought.”
Graham insists that the bill Trump and Grassley want to pass won’t receive 60 votes, especially since it ends chain migration:
“The president’s going to have a vote on his concept. I don’t think it will get 60 votes,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a member of the group, adding: “The bottom line then is: What do you do next? You can do what we’ve done for the last 35 years — blame each other. Or you can actually start fixing the broken immigration system. If you came out of this with strong border security — the president getting his wall and the Dream Act population being taken care of — most Americans would applaud.”
Can this bill even reach Trump’s desk? Conservatives in the House have told Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) he’d “be in trouble if he called up what they see as a weak Senate bill.” House Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said Ryan’s handling of immigration can determine his fate:
“I can say it is the defining moment for this speaker. If he gets it wrong, it will have consequences for him, but it will also have consequences for the rest of the Republican Party,” Mr. Meadows said Wednesday.
He said it defies history when the Senate is leading the House on tackling the “critical issue of the day.”
Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DL) offered their own proposal that offers a path to citizenship for 3.2 million illegal immigrants and less than $3 billion towards border security.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has his own bill that extends DACA for 3 years and border security funding.DONATE
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