Trump and the Dreamers

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 15, 2018

Chuck Grassley of Iowa has the support of President Donald Trump.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the number two Republican in the Senate, said lawmakers have had plenty of time to prepare their proposals for votes during this week's debate.

Mark Walker, a North Carolina Republican, said anything that is more generous than the Goodlatte bill is going to face a tough road in the House.

Many Democrats opposed the budget last week because there was no promise made to support dreamers, people brought to this country illegally as children. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of SC are keen on securing protection - though not necessarily immediate citizenship - for Dreamers, along with funding for a border wall and an end to the diversity visa lottery, which aims to bring immigrants to the US from underrepresented countries and is a particular bête noire of conservatives. Trump wants it, everyone wants it.

"The ultimate is whether the President will sign it or not", said Grassley.

Trump kicked the immigration fight to Congress past 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. "That means fixing broken parts of our legal immigration system". The bill largely implements the White House's four-pillar immigration proposal: A path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants, including the 800,000 beneficiaries of DACA; $25 billion for border security, including a wall; an end to the diversity visa lottery; and a phasing out of extended-family chain migration.

Grassley said family migration would be restricted to the nuclear family - an immigrant, their spouse and children under 18 - with some provisions for the disabled.

"They are not a priority for deportation", he told reporters.

"Our nightmare scenario is that we get into a long-term conversation about immigration", said Angel Padilla, policy director for Indivisible, a grass-roots organization, according to the Washington Post. "It's the only solution that fully addresses the four pillars of his framework", said Sen. "I don't feel that way".

The Senate will begin a 3 week debate on immigration this week.

Democrats prefer a narrower approach that deals with Dreamers and border security.

Receive stories like this everyday to your email. David Perdue (R-GA), who argued there must be more than a resolution for just Dreamers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has not speculated what, if anything, the chamber might pass.

"The President's proposal, now the Grassley bill, is so extreme on legal immigration that several Republicans have been critical of it, including my Republican friends from SC and Arizona", Schumer added.

The proposal comes from roughly two dozen senators from both sides of the political aisle.

But that measure, from the Senate's most hawkish Republicans on immigration, is unlikely to gain much, if any Democratic support.

Trump also revealed his plans for improving the nation's infrastructure Monday, and Thune said that will be another issue needing 60 votes, so it will be challenging to figure out how to attract Democrats.

"Everybody in this room wants DACA." he said., "It would be a great achievement".

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