A bipartisan Senate plan to protect young illegal immigrants from deportation and pour billions of dollars into border security appeared headed toward a Senate showdown on Thursday as wary Democrats signaled that a solution could be close.
The new bipartisan plan would protect from deportation 1.8 million immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” brought to the United States illegally as children.
Congress is scrambling to act after President Donald Trump ordered the March 5 termination of an Obama-era programme giving the young immigrants temporary legal status.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer noted the difficulties in writing immigration legislation, but added: “We are closer than we have ever been to passing something in the Senate to help the Dreamers.” Senate votes on various proposals are expected on Thursday.
As the Senate struggled with a way to end a months-long deadlock, Trump was holding firm to his demand to support a different, sweeping rewrite of US immigration law in a way that could sharply decrease the number of legal immigrants.
In a statement released by the White House, Trump urged the Senate to support legislation by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley that basically embraces the president’s legislative wish list on immigration, including scaling back two immigration programmes that bring
more than 300,000 people into the United States each year.
The Grassley bill is unlikely to win support from many Democrats.