GOP senators introduce version of White House immigration framework

Violet Powell
February 14, 2018

"Negotiations on DACA have begun. But if the Democrats want to make a deal, it's really up to them".

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. Few, if any, Republicans would be willing to support that without concessions that include border security measures or fewer legal immigrants in the country. Sen.

Even some Republicans, however, have expressed skepticism that such broad, fundamental changes in USA immigration law can pass the Senate by the Thursday deadline that No. 2 Republican Senator John Cornyn urged late on Monday.

Cotton's bill could meet stiff resistance. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., described it as "an all-Republican measure". Many Democrats consider some of the proposals, including limiting the relatives that legal immigrants can bring to the USA, to be non-starters.

Her father, Kim Jong-jin, is a South Korean immigrant who gave up his job as an engineer to focus on his daughter's sporting career.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Senator Rand Paul's opposition to last week's federal budget is "very hollow" in a campus speech February 12.

A group of conservative senators were to introduce a bill Monday that closely follows Trump's January proposals. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been absent in recent weeks battling cancer.

The Democrats" "dreamer' bills are meant to win amnesty for at least 3.25 million young illegals, regardless of their huge cost and their impact on Americans' workplaces and communities.

Trump's latest demand is that the legislation include $25 billion in funding for a border wall, but his continued waffling on what he wants, his declared support for dreamers, his stated desire to do something, should be more than enough for Congress to find a workable solution.

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Democrats have already shot down Trump's plan, as it would drastically reduce the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country per year. In a bid to fulfill Trump's wishes, Flake's proposal would not allow dreamers to sponsor their parents for permanent residency status - only their spouse and children.

The president has blamed domestic terror attacks and violent crime on beneficiaries of the visa lottery and family-based "chain migration".

Some bipartisan plans are also floating around, including a joint effort from Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Chris Coons of DE that would not fund Trump's border wall. Like the Senate, the House should show the president what an authentic majority bill looks like and dare him to veto it. As with health care, the way forward for Congress on this issue is through a once-time-honored approach used effectively in Washington throughout our history to forge agreements on hard issues for the greater good of the country.

The immigration debate is officially underway with a lot to negotiate. The key will be fashioning a pacakge that will get 60 Senators to vote for it. Since Trump and some Republicans are asking for large-scale changes, any legislation is likely to be long and complicated.

Schumer said Democrats won't give up if they don't reach a solution by the end of the week.

"For those members who want a full and open process, they are about the see how ugly and divisive things can get with each immigration-related amendment", said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who was an aide to former Sens. John Thune, R-S.D. Instead, Republicans and Democrats in the upper chamber threw indirect barbs at each other via press releases and comments to reporters in the Capitol hallways, both sides accusing the other of refusing to cede ground towards compromise.

"Nailing down the president has been next to impossible", said Durbin, a lead Democratic broker on immigration policy.

The administration proposes cracking down on overall levels of legal immigration and the type of immigrants who would qualify for visas.

Trump also tweeted on his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, writing that "after many years we have taken care of our Military, now we have to fix our roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and more".

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