Immigration debate: Both sides can claim a political win, Varney says

Jeff Flake: 'Can Get Something Done' on Immigration This Week

Susan Collins, R-Maine, appeared to be nearing agreement on a bill that would meet Trump's border funding demands, and, to the dismay of immigrant groups, restrict the ability of young undocumented migrants to sponsor their parents for citizenship.

Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) offered an amendment today that mirrors the president's 12-year path to citizenship request for DACA beneficiaries, provides $25 billion in appropriated funds for border security measures, and does not address the visa lottery and family reunification.

"I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with", Trump said during a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress at the time.

But Trump's statement could discourage support for those attempts aimed at seeking to find the right balance to attract the necessary 60 votes to pass legislation this week in a chamber with 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats and independents.

Senior White House officials on Wednesday warned lawmakers against turning to a possible fallback measure that would temporarily make legal a program that protects almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation.

"We are running out of time", said Alberto.

Although the Senate's immigration debate is off to a rocky start, Pittsburgh-area Dreamers are still hopeful their needs will be met. "We are in this pickle - in this worsening pickle, in this bad situation - because President Trump chose to end the DACA program, " he said. "We went as far as we could in that direction, but any more and the House would never take up the bill and the president would not be able to sign it".

Even more ominously for the Rounds deal, some GOP senators with dealmaking inclinations, or who have been involved in immigration reform efforts, have already confirmed they'll vote against the Rounds deal.

They argued that legal immigration cuts must accompany any efforts to legalize Dreamers, lest it result in "catastrophic surges of illegal immigration as well as massive increases in the size of the legalized population".

No. 2 Democrat Dick Durbin said it wasn't a "slam dunk" that all Democrats would support it. Republican leaders announced Wednesday they would try to build support for a hardline immigration bill that would slash legal immigration and give only temporary legal protections for the DREAMers.

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Their pitch was as unified as it was simple: There is only one proposal the President supports, there is only one proposal the President will sign and as such, there's only one proposal the more conservative House Republican leadership would be willing to take up.

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.

President Donald Trump says Congress should be - in his words - "strongly considering a system of Merit Based Immigration" as the Senate works on an immigration plan to protect young "Dreamers".

"I am asking all senators, in both parties, to support the Grassley bill", Trump said.

"I'm not trying to dictate to them what they offer". "We are scared that [the government is] going to get rid of it".

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks next to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at a news conference with Republican leaders after a closed conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.

The clash underlined the hard path any immigration plan faces as Washington remains starkly divided on one of Trump's signature issues.

The New York Times reported in mid-January that "because there are numerical limits for family-based immigration each year, there is a long queue for visas", crediting the State Department for data showing that November 1, 2017, more than 3.9 million people were waiting in line. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would give legal protection to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children before December 31, 2013.

Asked if he thinks there is too much legal immigration now in the country, the senator said, "I know there are some people (who) think we have too much legal immigration".

"Preventing enforcement with respect to people who entered our country illegally before a date that is in the future would produce a flood of new illegal immigration in the coming months", she said. It would crack down on so-called sanctuary cities and end immigration of extended family members, among other provisions.

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