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New Government Budget Deal Does Not Include DACA

14 February 2018

With the issue of immigration, more divisive under the present administration than it ever was, it is already a hard task for congress to be able to bridge the divide and it is unclear if any immigration bill, despite last week's bipartisan budget deal, would get at least the 60 vote required.

Senators introducing the measure include Arkansas' Tom Cotton, John Cornyn of Texas and Iowa's Chuck Grassley.

Democrats don't have a lot of leverage in a deal on dreamers, so it's uncertain where that debate goes in the coming weeks.

Still, the outcome remainsparticularly uncertain because the Senate debate is just the start of a longer process of passing an immigration package.

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But it's unclear whether that proposal could get the 60 votes needed to advance, let alone pass the Republican-controlled House. The key will be fashioning a pacakge that will get 60 Senators to vote for it. Anything the Senate approves would need to pass in the House of Representatives and get Trump's signature to become law. A bipartisan offer by six senators that Trump rejected would have made citizenship possible for the 690,000 "Dreamers" registered under the program, nicknamed DACA, which shields immigrants who came to the U.S.as children and stayed here illegally. Such legislation would likely be opposed by Republicans like Cotton (who would feel it does not have enough immigration limits) but also liberal Democrats like California's Kamala Harris (who would feel it includes too many more conservative provisions).

Trump kicked the immigration fight to Congress a year ago 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 has insisted he will sign into law only a bill that contains his four "pillars" of immigration reform.

Though it puts to end the hand-wringing over whether McConnell would honor his promise, the "what's next" ahead of the March 5 deadline imposed by President Donald Trump is anybody's guess, Politico reports. It would provide $25 billion for border security, restrict family-based immigration and end a visa lottery.

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No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of IL said the key impediment to a bipartisan deal was Trump's history of switching positions on the issue.

The White House proposal offered a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million eligible immigrants, more than the 800,000 of whom registered for DACA in the five years of the program. 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.

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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the president has "spelled out a fair and generous framework that will be necessary to earn his signature".

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Of immediate concern to many lawmakers of both political parties are hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants soon to be at risk of deportation.

New Government Budget Deal Does Not Include DACA