Colorado's USA senators say they are focused on protecting Dreamers as the Senate begins debate on an immigration measure, though lofty asks from the White House and a host of competing bills from various factions of the Senate could make getting to 60 votes hard.
But even as White House aides framed any alternatives as unworkable bills that Trump would not sign into law, a group of senators, the Common Sense Coalition, led by Sen.
The bill that is coming to the Senate floor Monday evening doesn't have one word in it about immigration - it's actually about health care - but it will be the "vehicle" for the immigration debate. In exchange for the amnesty, Trump and GOP lawmakers insist upon ending the visa lottery and extended-family chain migration, along with receiving $25 billion for border wall funding and other security measures.
"It is time for Congress to act, and to protect Americans", the President declared in his weekly address on Saturday, as he again made clear his goals in any immigration bill approved by Congress that deals with the Obama Administration's DACA program.
But it will also end the popular "Green Card lottery", a 28-year-old program to diversify immigrant arrivals, and sharply limit family-based immigration. "If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not", he told reporters last week. Dick Durbin (D-IL) lectured, "Dreamers should not be held hostage to President Trump's crusade to tear families apart and waste billions of American tax dollars on an ineffective wall". David Perdue, R-Ga., said in a statement.
Democrats continue to complain that weeks of negotiations on immigration have barely moved the needle on the DACA debate, as they argue White House hardliners are preventing the President from cutting a deal.
"Time is not on our side", Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters Monday afternoon, emphasizing that the fate of Dreamers is now in the hands of McConnell, who will control what proposals receive a vote this week and whether debate will be cut off if the Senate can not reach a resolution.
It was in 2013 that the Senate debated immigration the last time.
"Seems to me the consensus is to have big border security and big DACA", said Sen. "Something passed the Senate in 2013, we've spent three months talking to the Democrats about this, there's no reason in the world why, if there is a core 60 votes to support something, we can't achieve it in the next few days".
Trump, speaking later during a White House meeting about trade with lawmakers, told Sen.
President Trump may veto any immigration deal not to his liking.
In the House, Speaker Paul Ryan is taking fire from some in his rank-and-file who want a broader bill that can better enable a crackdown on border crossings and employers who hire undocumented immigrants.