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New Bipartisan Immigration Proposal To Be Released Monday

by Countable | 2.5.18

What’s the story?

Congress is staring down another funding deadline on Thursday, and the issue of immigration, which prompted a three-day shutdown three weeks ago, is still not resolved.

In pursuit of getting what they see as the most pressing items taken care of so that Congress can move onto other priorities, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) have submitted a new bipartisan proposal to protect Dreamers and secure the southern border.

The McCain-Coons proposal, reports the Washington Post, would grant legal status to all Dreamers in the country since 2013, a much larger pool of immigrants than even the 1.8 million that President Trump has recently supported protecting. In the near term, the bill calls for the use of drones and other technology to better secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

The bill would also require the Homeland Security Secretary to present a comprehensive border strategy to Congress within a year which would include "a list of known physical barriers, levees, technologies, tools, and other devices that can be used to achieve and maintain situational awareness and operational control along the southern border" and a projected cost per mile for any proposed changes.

The bill does not authorize any money specifically for the president’s proposed border wall, nor does it address the issue of family-based, or "chain", migration or the diversity visa lottery, which are key aspects of the White House’s proposal for an immigration strategy.

McCain, in a statement, acknowledged that the plan was simply one to get the most time sensitive needs taken care of so that Congress can move on to addressing defense funding, a priority for the senator:

"It’s time we end the gridlock so we can quickly move on to completing a long-term budget agreement that provides our men and women in uniform the support they deserve."

The plan is almost identical to one in the House, the USA Act, which currently has 54 cosponsors, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

CNN reports that the White House is calling the proposal a "non-starter" before it is even released. If Congress were able to pass the plan and the president vetoed the legislation, they would have to secure a two-thirds vote of approval in both Houses of Congress to override that veto.

What do you think?

Despite signs from the White House, should the Senate advance the McCain-Coons immigration proposal? If both Houses approved the plan, do you think the president would veto it? Does it make sense to approach immigration in a multi-step process, or not?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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