Bipartisan group reaches deal on immigration reform


By Ed O’Keefe, David Nakamura and Mike Debonis | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of senators reached a deal on immigration Wednesday as President Donald Trump attempted to preemptively undercut the proposal by delivering an ultimatum: Pass my plan or risk a veto.

The self-dubbed “Common Sense Caucus” of bipartisan senators late Wednesday circulated legislation that would fulfill Trump’s calls to grant legal status to 1.8 million immigrants, and would authorize $25 billion for southern border security construction projects over the next decade – not immediately, as Trump wants. The bill also would curb family-based immigration programs, but not to the extent Trump is seeking and does not end a diversity visa lottery program that he wants eliminated.

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Word of an agreement came as formal debate on immigration policy has mostly sputtered this week – a stalemate that has underscored the politically fraught nature of the showdown that is further complicated by GOP leaders’ insistence that the Senate act by week’s end.

A growing sense of diminishing urgency also set in as top leaders signaled that ongoing court challenges may give Congress more time than Trump’s deadline of March 5 to replace an Obama-era program shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

In a White House statement, Trump urged the Senate to back a proposal unveiled this week by a GOP group led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, saying it accomplishes his vision for immigration. At the same time, the president rejected any limited approach that deals only with “dreamers” – immigrants who have been in the country illegally since they were children – and border security.

His full-throated demand was released by …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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