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The Senate Fails to Act on DACA, and the Immigration Debate Moves to the Rights

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Senate Fails to Act on DACA, and the Immigration Debate Moves to the Right

"Democrats wanted this debate,” Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said Thursday, after the Senate spent the better part of a week trying, and failing, to reach a deal on immigration reform. Last month, to corral enough votes to keep the government running, he promised to dedicate some time to the fate of Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. In September, Donald Trump cancelled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era policy that protected seven hundred thousand of them from deportation—then called on Congress to pass legislation to reinstate the protections he’d just eliminated. After six months of floundering talks, McConnell gave the Senate a single week to come up with a solution. The debate began with low expectations. Several factions of lawmakers put forward proposals more or less on the fly. McConnell told colleagues that whatever bill he could pass in the Senate probably wouldn’t earn Trump’s support anyway. On Wednesday, the President proved McConnell right by threatening to veto any bill other than his own proposal, which offered a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers in exchange for overhauling the legal-immigration system and drastically increasing border security. When a centrist alternative appeared to be gaining broad bipartisan support on Thursday, the Administration attacked it in dramatic fashion to scare off Republican backers. It worked, and the week ended as it had begun, with no deal..."

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