Sheriffs, immigration officials unveil plan to work together

18 January, 2018, 14:04 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • U.S. President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington D.C

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that there's plenty of both commitment and disgust in the Democratic caucus, and he predicted strong opposition to House Republicans' plan for another short-term spending bill that does nothing for the 700,000 young immigrants. Instead of a blockbuster immigration deal, the lasting result of the meeting turned out instead to be Trump's infamous dismissal of certain nations of origin as "shithole" countries.

The meeting was to consider a bipartisan immigration deal to protect the "dreamers" - young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, including the 690,000 now enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump has canceled.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he was more focussed on producing a bill that Trump would not veto.

"I'm looking for something that President Trump supports and he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign", McConnell told reporters Wednesday. But as the March 5 end date for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program looms, Democrats are under increased pressure to hold the line for a solution on immigration.

The White House acknowledged the unlikelihood of a deal emerging in time.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed the president's thinking during Wednesday's press briefing, arguing that if a deal isn't reached this week, Americans "only have one place to look, and that's to the Democrats". And we cannot keep kicking this issue down the can. Eighteen Senate Democrats voted for a current continuing resolution last month, and 10 Senate Democrats are up for re-election this year in states that President Trump won in 2016. The Republican proposal is silent on the status of DACA recipients, or "Dreamers", a term for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

"It's got to be bipartisan and the president has to support this", Ryan said about an immigration deal.

"Republicans have a 51-49 vote margin [in the Senate] and will need numerous Democrats to break ranks to pass a spending bill", Height said. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, putting the bill close to having enough votes to pass the Senate, assuming unanimous Democratic support, but not quite to the 60-vote threshold needed to advance legislation. Most likely, they will vote on another short-term stopgap spending bill that will leave major policy disputes unresolved, continuing to punt issues further down field.

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"I think cool heads hopefully will prevail on this", he said.

Congress is hurtling toward yet another government shutdown deadline on January 19 and while the focus for this round of negotiations is on immigration, there is one key issue that will determine whether the deadline comes and goes without an agreement.

How Republicans say it will work: The Gang of Six deal is a non-starter for Republican leaders, aides say.

But Schumer said Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House, and could pass nearly any bill they want, and so the blame will fall on them if Congress does not beat the Friday midnight deadline by passing a spending bill.

"I think that we're optimistic that we'll get a deal".

Nielsen noted that the clock is ticking for Congress to protect DACA beneficiaries, adding that Trump does not plan to extend the March deadline. Yet now the Democrats hope to use a looming January 20 government shutdown to force Republicans to give amnesty to almost 900,000 DACA recipients - without offering border enforcement provisions. "So as I understand it, they have the votes and they're fairly confident". The deal has faced resistance from lawmakers unsure of what Trump will support and immigration hardliners who want more concessions from Democrats.

Senator Tom Cotton joined the Hugh Hewitt Show Tuesday morning to discuss the immigration reform negotiations dividing the Senate this week.

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