Chuck Grassley of Iowa has the support of President Donald Trump. Grassley and John Cornyn, could legalize as many as 1.8 million Dreamers in exchange for some of the biggest enforcement changes in two decades.
"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", Trump said, referring to his mulitpronged approach, in statement ahead of the bipartisan group's morning meeting. The Secure and Succeed Act would give a path to citizenship for almost two million undocumented immigrants, fund border security and the border wall with $25 billion, limit family-based immigration and eliminate the diversity visa lottery.
A bipartisan group of senators assembled an immigration Bill that could be voted on as early as Thursday.
The Senate on Monday evening started debate on the future of DACA recipients, often called "Dreamers". It would appropriate $25 billion for a border security trust fund for use on a 10-year border security plan, restrict family-based immigration and end the diversity visa lottery system.
Trump set the stage for the upcoming debate previous year, when he terminated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a program that granted temporary work and study permits to immigrants brought illegally to America as children, and gave Congress a March 5 deadline to address their plight.
DACA is set to expire on March 5 but a federal injunction likely extends the program beyond that date.
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The Senate will need 60 votes for another bill, and their measure will also have to pass the House in order to reach the president's desk. "If you try to do the breaking chain migration now you lose a lot of Democrats", said Graham.
"It's cold comfort to DACA people that if Congress does nothing, they're still safe in the loving arms of the Department of Homeland Security", said Durbin. It proposes family-linked visas only for spouses and minor children, an elimination of the diversity visa lottery, and the construction of a border wall.
President Donald Trump has consistently framed immigration reform as a security matter, first and foremost. But we can get something done.
"If the Democrats want to make a deal, it's really up to them", says President Trump.
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Senate debate on immigration began Tuesday.
But it's unclear whether that proposal could get the 60 votes needed to advance, let alone pass the Republican-controlled House.
But supporting the compromise would put members of Trump's own party at odds with the president, who urged senators to oppose any bipartisan plans that were different from his own.
The potential breakthrough, reached late today after hours of closed-door deliberations, came as efforts to resolve the fate of 1.8 million immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children entered a crucial period in a week set aside for debate on immigration.
Democrats are on the hook to pass some kind of legislation that would legalize DACA recipients - illegal aliens brought here when they were children.
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