Senate GOP wants to end debate on Thursday.
President Donald Trump sent over his immigration proposal to Capitol Hill that includes a border wall, end the visa lottery, and have curbs on visas for family members of legal immigrants.
The GOP Senators embraced the plan and Senate Whip John Cornyn (D-TX) told Democrats that the “clock is ticking” for them to offer a counter proposal.
The bill in the Senate comes from Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cornyn, James Lankford (R-OK), David Perdue (R-GA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Joni Ernst (R-IA). CNN reported that it has similarities to Trump’s:
At its base is still a resolution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation. Trump has decided to terminate the Obama-era program.
The White House proposal offered a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million eligible immigrants, more than the 800,000 of whom registered for DACA in the five years of the program. In exchange, the White House sought upwards of $25 billion for border security and a wall, a number of changes to laws to make it easier to deport and detain immigrants, a substantial cut to legal immigration based on family relationships and an end to the diversity visa lottery.
The bill also includes “the proposals that would toughen immigration enforcement and limiting family-based visas only to spouses and children under 18 years old.” It also limits the diversity lottery once the backlog clears out, but that has 4 to 5 millions already waiting in line. They say they will make those cuts once the backlog clears in order to give “Congress time to make reforms.”
Cornyn had this exchange on Twitter with Ben Marter, the communications director for Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL):
This is not a strategy to make a law: Democratic Senator Dick Durbin told reporters he hoped a combination of the Senate’s 49 Democrats and independents, coupled with 11 Republicans, could get behind a bill, propelling it to passage.
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) February 13, 2018
Cornyn and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) want to end the immigration debate on Thursday. From The Hill:
On Monday evening, senators voted to advance the immigration debate to the Senate floor. McConnell had promised a debate on immigration in order to get a spending deal in January but he has been careful not to commit to a solution on the pressing issue of renewing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
With the Senate expected to be out of town next week for Presidents Day, there is little time for the Senate to reach a deal before the initial March 5 deadline to find a fix for DACA.
Cotton told Fox News that the plan from Trump “is not an opening bid for negotiations” and described it as “a best and final offer.” However, Trump announced that DACA negotiations “have begun,” which means he may have some flexibility on some issues.DONATE
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