Democrats know what they want. Republicans have no idea.
Congress just gave itself three weeks to solve US immigration policy.
Ostensibly, they agreed to a deal that would reopen the federal government and keep it funded through February 8. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears to have promised that at some point during that period he will bring a bill to the floor that will address the fate of the 690,000 young unauthorized immigrants facing the loss of their protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Ostensibly, this is something both parties agree Congress needs to do.
But in the months Congress has spent working on this problem since the Trump administration announced in September that it was winding down DACA, the negotiations have gone around in circles.
Democrats know exactly what they want — legalization, with a path to citizenship, for the generation of unauthorized immigrants who’ve grown up in the US known as DREAMers. Republicans haven’t even decided whether anything short of an overhaul of the entire US immigration system will satisfy their needs.
McConnell could bring existing bills to the floor — but the only ones that can pass the Senate might not make it to the floor of the House
McConnell just promised to hold a vote on a bill to deal with DACA. But he didn’t specify which bill — and that could mean a great deal.
There are, after all, bills that already exist to address the problem, worked out by groups of legislators over the last several months. But the ideas that have been presented are either too far to the left to satisfy “a majority of the majority” among House Republicans, or too far to the right to attract any Democratic votes in the Senate.