CFGI Quoted – “Will the DACA Deal Turn Into Comprehensive Immigration Bill?”

Bloomberg Law

“With all the clamor over what should go in the deal to provide legal status to dreamers, could the bill ultimately turn into another attempt at a comprehensive overhaul of the immigration system?

“If so, that could doom the legislation. A more narrow, DACA-focused bill is more likely.

“…The White House’s legislative framework, originally mentioned Jan. 24 and expanded upon Jan. 25, would provide legal status and eventual citizenship to 1.8 million undocumented immigrants. It also would create a $25 billion trust fund for a border wall and include other enforcement measures. And it would cut some family-based visa categories and eliminate the diversity visa lottery, farming out what would have been diversity visas to whittle down existing backlogs in family- and employment-based visa categories.

“…For anything to pass in a short period of time, it likely will have to be narrower than what the White House has proposed.

“‘I think there’s a desire on both sides of the aisle to resolve the DACA issue and get to a narrow deal,’ Rebecca Peters, director of government affairs for the Council for Global Immigration… ‘The president is really just laying down a marker’ that’s ‘renewing the discussion,’ she said.

“‘If they want to get a deal done, it has to stay narrow,’ said Peters, whose organization advocates for immigration changes on behalf of multinational corporations. But ‘we have to see how Congress handles its process,’ she said.

“…Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he would allow an immigration bill to go through the Senate through the regular process if a deal isn’t reached by Feb. 8, Peters said. ‘I speculate you would see a number of amendments’ on various immigration issues if that’s the case, she said.

“The question really is whether the deal can maintain the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate…

“…‘Both sides want things that are too different…,” [Alex] Nowrasteh said.

“…If Congress does pass a DACA deal—either by Feb. 8 or later—the question remains whether that will create momentum for lawmakers to take up other elements of the immigration system.

“‘We would be hopeful that they would,’ but ‘the issue is very divisive’ and it’s an election year, Peters said. “I think we have to see how the DACA negotiations and the process move forward and whether or not the DACA issue is resolved,” she said. “That will dictate what is or is not possible moving ahead.”

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