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Bipartisan group in US Senate unveils immigration plan, defying Trump

Bipartisan group in US Senate unveils immigration plan, defying Trump

Lawmakers head to the Capitol Monday night to begin the debate on immigration reform. The proposal as drafted Wednesday would extend citizenship opportunities to Dreamers, whose parents brought them to the US illegally as children, but not their parents.

The Senate Majority Leader says he'll devote at least two weeks on the floor to the immigration debate.

A deal to address the fate of roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors is now on thin ice after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sided with President Donald Trump's hardline immigration proposals.

Some 690,000 Dreamers registered under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program - plus 1.1 million others who were eligible but did not sign up - could begin to face deportation by that date if no fix is in place. Trump delayed the program's end until March 5, charging Congress with putting together a legislative proposal on the issue by that deadline.

The bipartisan measure, which has eight Republican and eight Democratic sponsors, emerged from a centrist group nicknamed the "common sense coalition".

The bill includes just two of Trump's requirements because it excludes a reform of the chain-migration and visa lottery programs.

The proposal was devised by Republicans and Democrats, but needs 60 votes to pass the Senate.

One senior administration official noted that emotional appeals involving sympathetic cases are a staple in the immigration policy debate, and "at DHS we appreciate that".




"The Senate's going to work its will", he said. Any immigration deal would have to also clear the House, where conservatives bridle at the thought of providing "amnesty" to millions of immigrants, and ultimately pass muster with Mr Trump. "If you try to do the breaking chain migration now you lose a lot of Democrats", said Graham. That 60 vote threshhold will be hard to reach, which means Majority Leader McConnell is likely to offer the proposals as amendments. Anything the Senate approves would need to pass in the House of Representatives and get Trump's signature to become law. "Bipartisan, make deal Dems?"

Trump also commended the House bill drafted by GOP Rep. The legislation tracks with an immigration proposal the White House unveiled in January and while it has support from Republican leadership, its prospects with Democrats appear slim.

Critics have argued that the Republican senators have proposed an enforcement-heavy immigration bill, the Secure and Succeed Act, which mirrors Trump's immigration proposal.

They proposed $25 billion to build a border wall, an end to the catch-and-release policies that free illegal immigrants into the interior of the US, new faster deportations for visitors who overstay their permits, and permanently authorizing the E-Verify system that some businesses use to check their workers' legal status.

"I think there will be probably several versions of immigration legislation that will be voted on this week", he said.

An immigration bill introduced by U.S. Sen.

This week's Senate votes mark the first serious immigration debate in the chamber since 2013, when senators overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan measure providing legal status to 11 million undocumented immigrants along with a $46 billion border plan.