Immigration Debate: GOP Framework on the Table as McConnell Pledges at Least Two Weeks of Senate Floor Time

With a federal budget deal completed, the US Senate is now turning its focus to addressing immigration.  On Monday, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led a group of GOP senators to formally introduce a plan aligning with President Trump’s immigration framework. The proposal would provide a path to citizenship for 1.8 million “DREAMers,” a far larger number than the approximately 800,000 who were temporarily protected from deportation under then-President Obama’s DACA order. The proposal also asks for $25 billion for border security, would place limits on family-based immigration, and would toughen interior enforcement.

The Trump Administration’s proposed framework would keep legal immigration at the current level of about 1.1 Million per year for more than a decade. “The combined effort, officials said, would effectively make up for the cuts in other immigration categories for about 13 years…” Trump tweeted on Saturday that “Republicans want to fix DACA far more than the Democrats do… and they decided not to do anything about DACA. They only want to use it as a campaign issue...”

By providing the DREAMers with a path to earn citizenship instead of allowing them to fall back into or remain in undocumented status, we can assure they are being identified properly, passing criminal background checks, and paying taxes in a way that does not undercut ethical American businesses, workers, and tax payers.

This is just the start of the debate. “McConnell has pledged to senators to devote the Senate floor solely to immigration for at least two weeks, according to senators, a significant promise given the value of floor time in a chamber that moves at glacial speed.”

 

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