McConnell Says Open DACA Debate He Promised Will End This Week

Minnesota State Sen. Tom Saxhaug DFL-Grand Rapids left whispers to State Rep. Denny McNamara R-Hastings during a meeting of the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council meeting in St. Paul Minn

US Senate begins debate on immigration

However, for any measure to pass it will take 60 votes, which requires support from both republicans and democrats on a DACA issue that's already proven to be divisive.

"Such a policy is inconsistent with the promises that he and Republicans have made to the voters, and is in fact further to the left of President Obama's position", Catherine Frazier said.

But in the Capitol, Mr. McConnell and his Democratic counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer of NY, were unable to come to terms on an agreement that would get the debate underway in earnest. "If there are 60 votes for any of these proposals here in the Senate, we should be able to discover that".

Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called the legislation "a reasonable approach" that "is the only Senate proposal that has any chance of passing the House and being signed into law". Republicans control the chamber 51-49 but GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona has been home for weeks battling brain cancer. McConnell has promised Democrats debate and amendments over the fate of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

The move comes ahead of a March 5 deadline when roughly 700,000 immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are slated to lose legal protections.

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The two had worked for months with other lawmakers in a bipartisan fashion to put together a measure that provided a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the children, enhanced border security measures and contained the president's appropriations request for a border wall. That's something most Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have said is non-negotiable.

Immigration activists and lawmakers are wary of the GOP immigration plan. In a meeting with reporters last week, Flake, who has been an outspoken voice within his own party for a moderate immigration solution, hedged his optimism about reaching a deal.

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.

"President Trump has actually said to me a whole bunch of times 'I'd like to do comprehensive immigration reform, '" Schumer said in Louisville. First, they can't agree on how large they should go with this bill. "Wouldn't it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle", he tweeted.

Without the Democratic leader's consent, debate can not begin until midnight Tuesday, or very early Wednesday morning.

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