Historic immigration debate in flux

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Critics have argued that the Republican senators have proposed an enforcement-heavy immigration bill, the Secure and Succeed Act, which mirrors Trump's immigration proposal.

The bill is a culmination of months of back-and-forth negotiation and debate with Democrats - whose votes will be needed to get a bill through the Senate. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) blocked his motion to hold a vote on a Republican bill cracking down on sanctuary cities and a bipartisan bill to protect Dreamers and support border security.

Democrats don't have a lot of leverage in a deal on dreamers, so it's uncertain where that debate goes in the coming weeks.

But in the Capitol, Mr. McConnell and his Democratic counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer of NY, were unable to come to terms on an agreement that would get the debate underway in earnest.

Agreement may be hard to come by as other amendments are unlikely to receive 60 votes on the Senate floor. The legislation will also have to overcome the threat of a final 60-vote filibuster.

"Sen. Gardner wants an immigration compromise that cannot only pass the Senate, but can pass the House and be signed into law by the President".

He's thanking GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of SC are keen on securing protection - though not necessarily immediate citizenship - for Dreamers, along with funding for a border wall and an end to the diversity visa lottery, which aims to bring immigrants to the US from underrepresented countries and is a particular bête noire of conservatives.

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But it appears unlikely to get 60 votes, which would include the support of at least nine Democratic senators.

"To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not", Ryan said.

Trump has made it clear that he will not sign legislation that doesn't include money for the wall and limit family migration. Probably Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia but also Republicans like Tennessee's Lamar Alexander and Missouri's Roy Blunt, all of whom backed the budget deal.

Court orders in California and, on Tuesday, in New York's Brooklyn federal court put a stay on that March 5 deadline, however. "During my State of the Union, I called on Congress to immediately close unsafe loopholes in federal law that have endangered our communities and imposed enormous burdens on USA taxpayers".

"This proposal has my support and during this week of fair debate I believe it deserves support of every senator who's ready to move beyond making points and actually making a law", McConnell said on the Senate floor. But in exchange for this, Trump wants funding for his U.S. -Mexico border wall, an end to a visa lottery program and tough curbs on visas for immigrants' families.

Of immediate concern to many lawmakers of both political parties are hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants soon to be at risk of deportation.

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