McCain, Coons to Introduce Bipartisan Immigration Bill that Doesn’t Fund Border Wall

On Monday, Sen. John McCain (Republican, Arizona) and Sen. Chris Coons (Democrat, Delaware) plan on introducing a bipartisan immigration legislation that gives Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients a pathway to citizenship and calls for a study to determine what border security measures are needed, The Wall Street Journal reports.

It does not contain immediate funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a priority for President Trump. “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,” McCain said in a statement to the Journal on Sunday. “While reaching a deal cannot come soon enough for America’s service members, the current political reality demands bipartisan cooperation to address the impending expiration of the DACA program and secure the southern border.”

 

New Bipartisan Immigration Plan Surfaces in The Senate and Trump Labels It “A Total Waste of Time”

Talks to resolve the legal status of young undocumented immigrants and enact new border security measures remain stalled in the closely-divided Senate on Monday as a new bipartisan proposal to resolve the impasse was dismissed by the White House as insufficient.

The proposal by Sens. John McCain, and Christopher Coons, would grant permanent legal status to undocumented and start bolstering security along the U.S.-Mexico border. It copies a plan already introduced in the House that has 54 co-sponsors from both parties. But President Trump tweeted that the idea is a “total waste of time” because it doesn’t immediately authorize spending the billions to build new barriers along the border.

 

Kansas Chemistry Teacher Fights Immigration Arrest

Supporters of a Kansas chemistry instructor hope immigration officials will be lenient because he has lived in the United States for 30 years without problems and has a family. The Kansas City Star reports Syed Ahmed Jamal was arrested in his front yard in Lawrence, Kansas, on Jan. 24 as he walked his seventh-grade daughter to school.

The 55-year-old Jamal, who is from Bangladesh, arrived in the United States in 1987 to study at the University of Kansas. Most recently, he was teaching at Park University. Jamal’s lawyer, Jeffrey Bennett, says an immigration judge allowed Jamal to remain in the country on a supervised basis provided he checked in regularly. President Donald Trump has toughened immigration enforcement. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Jamal lost an appeal of a removal order four years ago, making him a target for deportation.

 

ICE Agents See ‘Gaping Holes’ in Trump’s Immigration Plan

National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  Council President Chris Crane sent a letter to Mr. Trump on Friday saying the four-point plan the White House proposed coupling legalization for illegal immigrant Dreamers with a border wall and changes to legal immigration falls short, concluding that the proposed amnesty would leave “gaping holes” for a new wave of illegal immigration and leaving businesses free to continue hiring illegal immigrants and refusing to root out cities and counties serving as sanctuaries.

“We simply cannot in good faith support any legislative effort on immigration that does not include provisions regarding immigration detainers, sanctuary cities and the smuggling and trafficking of children across U.S. borders,” wrote Mr. Crane, whose organization represents 7,500 employees at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles deportations and interior enforcement.

 

Immigration Deal’s Chances Slip as Trump and Democrats Dig In

Chances for an immigration deal in Congress are dimming as Republicans and Democrats pull further apart and President Donald Trump threatens to walk away from any agreement that doesn’t meet his demands.

The time until the next funding deadline, possibly as long as six weeks, leaves an opening to consider competing immigration proposals, but success is far from assured. Every delay allows positions to harden and pushes debate on a politically polarizing issue closer to the campaign season for congressional elections.

“I think the prospects have always been extremely low,” Adam Jentleson, who was an aide to former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said of an immigration deal. “I don’t think they’re looking too good at the moment.”

 

TPS Holders Want Their Voices Heard Throughout Immigration Negotiations

As another government shutdown looms, thousands of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders are mobilizing in the hopes of having their immigration status addressed in upcoming congressional negotiations.

More than 400,000 immigrants in the U.S. have been granted TPS status, a program that gives protections to people from countries “unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately” due to armed conflicts or environmental disasters, allowing them to live in the United States and work legally. But the Trump administration recently declined to extend the TPS status for most of the program’s recipients.

“As a community that continues to contribute to the American fabric and economy, TPS holders must be included in any immigration legislation,” said Edwin Murillo, a Salvadoran TPS holder from Texas and a member of the National TPS Alliance, an organization that’s leading a two-day rally in Washington D.C. ahead of Tuesday when the House of Representatives plans to vote on funding the government agencies beyond Thursday.

The National TPS Alliance rally was set for Monday at 5 p.m. EST in Washington D.C. until Tuesday night as families with TPS and their advocates also meet with legislators.

 

Assembly Takes Up Dream Act Amid National Immigration Debate

Amid the backdrop of a pitched battle over immigration on the national level, Assembly Democrats on Monday once again pushed for the passage of the Dream Act, a state-level bill that provides tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants.

“Denying these students aid is denying them education,” said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, a Democrat who represents Inwood. “I’ve been lucky enough to know the dreamers, to call them my friends, my neighbors and even my interns.”

Democratic lawmakers said it’s on the closely divided state Senate, led by Republicans, to get the bill over the finish line. For their part, Republicans have campaigned against the legislation over the years, saying a state with limited resources should help those who come to the country through legal channels first.

“We don’t support giving free college tuition to people who are here illegally while middle-class New Yorkers scrimp and save, take out massive college loans and work two jobs in the hopes that they can afford to send their own kids to college,” said Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif.

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