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US Senate begins rare open debate on immigration

IANS  |  Washington 

With the fate of hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants in the balance, the US has begun an open-ended debate on immigration, the said.

This is an exceedingly rare step that, in effect, will allow senators to attempt to build a bill on from scratch on the floor of the House, news reported.

The highly unusual debate, expected to unfold throughout the week, will test whether a series of legislative concepts and proposals championed by can garner 60 votes, the threshold for a measure to pass the Senate, said.

promised Democrats the discussion in exchange for their willingness to end a government shutdown.

The Democrats had forced the shutdown in hopes of getting Republicans to approve a permanent solution for beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The push on comes against the backdrop of a ticking clock, and months of congressional inaction.

Launched in 2012 by then-Barack Obama, DACA has protected some 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

In September 2017, Trump announced that he would end DACA on March 5, 2018, and urged to pass legislation to regularise the situation of the beneficiaries, known as "Dreamers".

Trump has put forward an plan that includes a path to citizenship for roughly 1.8 million undocumented young people, while simultaneously demanding $25 billion to build his proposed wall on the Mexican border.

Trump has made it clear that he will not sign legislation that doesn't include money for the wall and limit family migration.

The President's proposal would also place significant new limits to legal immigration, by restricting the issuance of family-reunification visas and eliminating the visa lottery.

While seven Republicans have written a draft incorporating Trump's priorities, Democrats - and some GOP moderates - are adamantly opposed to the position.

With the Senate divided 51-49 between Republicans and Democrats, no bill can gain the necessary 60 votes without bipartisan support.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 09:04 IST