WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The Senate has begun debate on immigration reform.
The process is open-ended, which means any proposal will be considered and whatever is able to gather the 60 votes necessary to pass will move forward.
“And then we’ll see whether they have the votes to support it,” said North Carolina GOP Sen. Thom Tillis. “So this is an open, amendable process which you all know, many of you have been around here a lot longer than me, doesn’t happen all that often in the U.S. Senate.”
Republicans are pushing a bill from senators Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn and Tom Cotton.
The Secure and Succeed Act would give a path to citizenship for nearly two million undocumented immigrants, fund border security and the border wall with $25 billion dollars, limit family based immmigration and eliminate the diversity visa lottery.
“It’s the one bill that can become law,” said Sen. Cotton. “We shouldn’t be focused on passing a bill out of the Senate, we should be focused on passing a law, something that can get a majority vote in the House and President Trump is willing to sign.”
It will be an uphill battle to find a bill that Democrats will support while also winning over President Trump and the more conservative House members.
“Well this is a very difficult issue, we’re all aware of that,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer. “But we can get something done. We’re on the verge.”
President Trump tweeted this morning: “Republicans want to make a deal and Democrats say they want to make a deal. Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle.”
“They’ve been talking about it for many years and if we can do it, it would be a great achievement,” Trump said Tuesday.
The DACA program, which shields undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation, expires March 5th.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says the House will not vote on any plan that does not enjoy the support of President Trump.