McConnell Sets Deadline for Ending Immigration Talks

Feb 14, 2018, 18:30
McConnell Sets Deadline for Ending Immigration Talks

Lawmakers now are embroiled in debates over an immigration deal that would create a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought to the U.S.as children. But he has also insisted on constructing a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, reducing the number of legal immigrants America accepts, and prioritizing newcomers with advanced work skills. Conservative House Republicans will also be reluctant to back a bill that does not include restrictions on legal immigration.

"They better get it done quick because it's this week or not at all", said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn.

On "Fox & Friends" Monday morning, a so-called "Dreamer" explained why he supports President Donald Trump's immigration policies. But in my view, going for a streamlined compromise on DACA offers the greatest hope of getting something over the finish line that has vexed leaders in both parties for years.

At the same time, the idea of an open-ended debate is so novel that many newer senators say they have never experienced one, and are scurrying to learn the rules. This is the second time both Senate leaders have been on the same stage. If Congress doesn't come up with an agreement to preserve the program, the administration has said, it doesn't expect to extend the March 5 deadline for DACA protections to expire.

But it will also end the popular "Green Card lottery", a 28-year-old program to diversify immigrant arrivals, and sharply limit family-based immigration. "Instead, we must focus on providing certainty to Dreamers and keeping families together".

The Republicans need help to pass legislation from Democrats because they hold only a 51-49 edge and 60 votes are necessary for passage. A version of the bill has passed the House, but the Senate has yet to take it up.

Some Republican lawmakers have expressed scepticism the kind of fundamental changes in USA immigration law sought by Trump can pass the Senate by week's end, despite McConnell's warning of a tight new deadline when he told reporters: "We'll need to wrap this up this week". "They will probably both go down [to defeat], and then maybe the third bill will be the compromise".

Gardner's spokesman, Casey Contres, told Denver7 as much Tuesday. Rather, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has picked up a random Bill into which amendments that get the support of 60 Senators could be inserted.

"It will be an opportunity for a thousand flowers to bloom", Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said about the process.

Democrats, and at least one Republican - Sen. "If there are 60 votes for any of these proposals here in the Senate, we should be able to discover that". John Thune, R-S.D.

"[Gardner's] goal is to find a solution for Dreamers so he is willing to look at other proposals to get to that goal", Contres said. But competing factions in a divided Congress leave many questions about the path forward.

They expect their case to be a part of the deal, whose headline components are the future of 690,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the USA as children and, as demanded by President Donald Trump, a wall along the border with Mexico, and end to family-based chain migration and diversity visa lottery. He was part of the group including Bennet and Gardner who reached the bipartisan solution next month.

The White House has not weighed in on any of the legislative options, but Trump has insisted that any immigration bill also include funding for a wall along the US border with Mexico.

U.S. Senators are gearing up for another round of immigration debate.

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