WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the immigration debate in Congress (all times local):
Republican lawmakers say they will introduce President Donald Trump’s immigration plan as the Senate begins its debate Monday on the contentious issue.
The proposal has no chance of winning approval by the chamber. But it will give the White House and some harder-line GOP senators a chance to stake out their position, and might serve as an opening offer if serious negotiations with Democrats occur.
Like the proposal Trump unveiled last month, the measure would offer a chance for citizenship for up to 1.8 million people who arrived illegally in the U.S. as children. It would provide $25 billion for border security, restrict family-based immigration and end a visa lottery.
Senators introducing the measure include Arkansas’ Tom Cotton, John Cornyn of Texas and Iowa’s Chuck Grassley.
A Republican senator is expressing confidence that the Senate can pass an immigration bill that will be acceptable to President Donald Trump and to the more conservative House.
The Senate plans to begin an open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the “Dreamer” immigrants on Monday.
GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona says he believes a compromise will be found.
He tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “if we put a good bill to the president that has the support of 65-70 members of the Senate that the president will accept it and the House will like it as well.”
If not, Flake says lawmakers will need to do something to protect the Dreamers – young immigrants who have lived in the U.S. illegally since they were children. They have only temporarily been protected from deportation by an Obama-era program.
The Senate plans to begin a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the “Dreamer” immigrants on Monday. But the most influential voice in the conversation may be on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue – President Donald Trump.
If the aim is to pass a legislative solution soon, Trump remains a crucial and, at times, complicating player.
His day-to-day turnabouts on the issues have confounded both Democrats and Republicans and led some to urge the White House to minimize his role in the debate.
Yet his ultimate support will be vital if Congress is to overcome election-year pressures against compromise.
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