The Latest: Moderate senators near compromise on immigration
Feb. 14, 2018
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress and the immigration debate (all times local):
A Republican lawmaker says moderate senators from both parties are near a compromise that would offer young "Dreamer" immigrants a route to citizenship and provide $25 billion over a decade for President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico.
The roughly two dozen senators have been seeking middle ground for weeks.
It was unclear how their package will be received by Republican and Democratic leaders. So far, no plan has emerged that seems likely to win the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate.
South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds says the agreement would provide a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for many Dreamers — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children and here without permanent protection from deportation. The Dreamers wouldn't be allowed to sponsor their parents for citizenship.
The White House is voicing its opposition to an immigration proposal from Sens. John McCain and Chris Coons.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says the plan "would increase illegal immigration, surge chain migration, continue catch and release, and give a pathway to citizenship to convicted alien felons."
The Department of Homeland Security also says the amendment ignores the recommendations of its front-line operators.
The White House is instead backing legislation led by Sen. Chuck Grassley that's based on the pillars President Donald Trump says must be included in any bill he signs.
That includes a path to legalization for young people living in the country illegally, along with billions of dollars for a border wall and major changes to the legal immigration system.
It remains unclear whether any plan has the support to pass.
President Donald Trump is sending a message to the Senate on immigration: Pass a bill based on his priorities.
He's thanking GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa for introducing legislation similar to the immigration framework pushed by the White House.
The measure would offer a chance for citizenship for up to 1.8 million people who arrived in the U.S. as children and stayed illegally. It would provide $25 billion for border security, restrict family-based immigration and end a visa lottery.
Trump says legislation without these priorities won't — in his words — "deliver safety, security and prosperity to the American People."
Trump also says he wants lawmakers to oppose any "short-term "Band-Aid" approach."
Senate debate on immigration began Tuesday, but leaders are at loggerheads over how to move forward.