Republican Senators Unveil Immigration Bill that Solves DACA, Funds the Wall and Grandfathers Family Visa Applications

Republican Senators Unveil Immigration Bill that Solves DACA, Funds the Wall and Grandfathers Family Visa Applications

Republican Senators have introduced a bill in the Senate that addresses all of the President’s major legislative concerns when it comes to immigration.  The Senate has vowed to take immigration legislation up this week ahead of a winter recess next week a looming March 5 end of the DACA program.

The Secure and Succeed Act, sponsored by Senators Cotton, Grassley, Cornyn, Tillis, Perdue, Lankford, and Ernst, provides a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as minors.  It also allocates $25 billion to border security, including funding for the border wall.

The bill limits family-based immigration to the immediate family of an emigrant and essentially ends the visa lottery.  But it takes the allowance for the visa lottery (currently 55,000 visas) and allocates it to all existing family-based visa applications, granting everyone who is already in line a visa approval.  A reward, the Senators say, for those who chose to follow the law and immigrate legally.

“By addressing our border security needs and limiting family sponsorship to the nuclear family, it goes far beyond the other half measures that have been proposed. This bill is generous, humane, and responsible, and now we should send it to the president’s desk,” Senator Cotton said.

Senator Lankford painted the proposal as an opportunity to take a real, concrete step toward solving the immigration problem.  “We’re down to the deadline. We’ve got to move from talking in the hallways and our offices to putting legislative language on the floor,” Lankford said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed an open process on immigration on the floor of the Senate this week.  He said that he would allow senators from both sides to take turns in submitting proposals for votes.  The process, he said, will be a rare “opportunity for a thousand flowers to bloom,” he said.

 

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