What’s in the immigration bills the Senate is debating?
The Senate is currently debating a number of immigration bills ahead of the March 5th deadline to do something about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. That’s the Obama-era initative, which was later cancelled by President Trump.The program provided legal protections for “Dreamers,” who are immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Mr. Trump ended DACA in September and gave Congress until March 5th to replace it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised an open-ended debate on a DACA replacement as part of a deal with Democrats to end last month’s brief government shutdown. But it will be enormously difficult for Congress to pass any kind of replacement. Adding to the pressure, McConnell also wants to wrap up debate on the bill by the end of this week.
For a DACA replacement to pass in the Senate, it will need 60 votes, meaning that any legislation will require substantial bipartisan support. It would also need to win over a majority of the more conservative House before it arrives on the president’s desk. And Mr. Trump, a noted immigration hawk, has intimated that he will only sign a bill that includes provisions most Democrats abhor, such as funding for a wall along the southern border.
Here are some of the bills the Senate is debating this week, and why it’ll be difficult for any of them to pass.
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