It's time for congressional action on immigration

Ting Shen  ZUMA

Ting Shen ZUMA

Trump said Monday he thinks "there's a good chance of getting DACA done, " but only if Democrats "are serious and they actually want to do it". He has also linked the offering of a path to citizenship for "Dreamers" to a severe curtailment in the existing legal immigration regime.

Underscoring how hard it's been for lawmakers to find an immigration compromise, around two dozen moderates from both parties have met for weeks to seek common ground. "I hope that's the choice they'll make".

Immigration done legally allows people to enter our nation, become productive members of our society, follow our laws and pay taxes.

Now Democrats and Republicans are wrestling to come up with solutions. On Tuesday, Democrats objected to the Senate majority leader's attempt to set up floor votes on a sanctuary cities amendment.

But in his statement, he hinted that some of the more conservative proposals that have come along to fit more in line with what Trump has requested won't do, and that keeping family-based migration intact was important-though he said he still wants a bipartisan solution.

Democrats have talked of the possibility of providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and additional border security, including the construction of more border fencing and other high-tech tools to deter illegal immigrants.

Yanez said that he is hopeful that Trump and Republicans in Congress will finally act on immigration reform.

Cotton also suggested Trump was done negotiating. It's expected that amendments will be subject to that threshold and will require consent agreements from senators for votes, opening up the process to negotiations. "It's the best and final offer".

Lawmakers today will begin tackling the thorny issue of immigration debate with an unusual, open debate in the Senate aimed at addressing the fate of young "Dreamer" immigrants as well as boosting border security.

It also would follow Trump's plan to eliminate the ability of United States citizens to sponsor siblings, parents, and adult or married children for green cards, a provision that Democrats contend would drastically cut legal immigration and disrupt families.

McConnell agreed to the open-ended debate, a Senate rarity in recent years, after Democrats agreed to vote to end a three-day government shutdown they'd forced over the issue.

"No easy task", he added. "11 Republican names", Durbin told reporters Monday afternoon.

The push on immigration legislation comes against the backdrop of a ticking clock, and months of congressional inaction.

Senior Republican lawmakers say Trump deserves credit for the totality of his immigration proposal.

Trump kicked the immigration fight to Congress previous year when the administration announced it was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows certain immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to work and go to school without fear of deportation.

Trump scrapped the scheme in September and gave Congress six months to craft a permanent fix. The White House has repeatedly claimed DACA recipients have until March 5 to worry about being at risk of deportation. In 2012, after the Obama administration established the DACA program, Yanez was able to receive a work permit. But when asked if his bill has any support from Democrats, Cotton demurred.

Among those points are restricting the visa lottery and spending millions to build a border wall.

The Democrats' reluctance to debate the issues is also highlighted by their refusal to submit any proposed amendments, even though GOP Senators had already submitted nearly 10 proposals, a Capitol Hill source said early afternoon.

Latest News