White House goes all out to stop bipartisan immigration deal

Archbishop Jose Gomez. Credit Daniel Ibanez

Archbishop Jose Gomez. Credit Daniel Ibanez

At least 14 Republicans joined most Democrats in opposing the measure, which crashed to defeat 39 to 60 despite the president warning he would veto any plan that did not meet his criteria, which included major curbs on legal immigration in addition to border security and protections for Dreamers. A new bipartisan plan would give 1.8 million young immigrants, known as dreamers, a path to citizenship and provide $25 billion for border security.

The administration official said the White House already has been in contact with individual Republican senators, as well as House leadership, asking them to oppose the bill.

The White House warned that Collins's bill prevents the enforcement of legal action against people who enter the country before June 2018, which "would produce a flood of new illegal immigration in the coming months". The party's No. 2 Senate leader, Dick Durbin of IL, said some Democrats had "serious issues" with parts of the plan.

Though he had conceded that the path forward on any legislation would be rocky in the more conservative U.S. House, U.S. Sen.

Americans "know this president not only created the problem, but seems to be against every solution that might pass because it isn't 100 percent of what he wants", top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said.

Trump threw his support behind a GOP-written bill sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to give 1.8 million immigrants in the country illegally who arrived as children a chance to apply for citizenship.

"The amendments, I filed today, are focused, commonsense reforms that will make a real difference for our economy", he said. Dreamers are immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children who risk deportation because they lack permanent authorisation to stay in the US. Details of the legislation remained hazy as Senators worked to rally co-sponsors for the bill.

A sympathetic reading of President Trump's position on how to deal with "Dreamers" - people who came to the United States illegally as children - is that he believes only Congress has the power to act in this area.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressed optimism that lawmakers are getting closer to reaching consensus on legislation that would protect the more than 800,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from deportation. And even Trump's four-point framework released in January does not implement a more merit-based immigration system - that appeared in an earlier proposal put out by the White House in October.

In one proposal, from Sen.

(4) The White House-backed Grassley bill, co-sponsored by a number of conservative members, that more or less mirrors Trump's plan. The coalition has been meeting almost every day in Collins' office - which has been dubbed, "Little Switzerland" by coalition members - to develop a framework to address DACA and other immigration issues, Collins said.

The moderates' measure does not alter a lottery that distributes about 55,000 visas annually to people from diverse countries. Cory Gardner (R) and Michael Bennet (D) proposed their own version that, like McCain-Coons, leaves out the administration's highly desired visa lottery and family reunification changes.

But the statement did not say Trump would veto a bill that fell short of them.

"It's a step in the right direction", Rounds said. It was preceded by votes on the centrist deal and two other amendments: a bipartisan proposal from Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., was killed that would have blocked federal grants to "sanctuary cities", communities that don't cooperate with federal efforts to enforce immigration laws. Can it get to 60 votes, as things stand?

A narrower third bill focusing just on Dreamers and border security, by Republican John McCain and Democrat Chris Coons, has been dismissed by Trump. He said Trump overplayed his hand in pushing for a more partisan outcome and that he expected that to be reflected in this year's elections. The amendment is considered sure to lose.

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