What’s at Stake as Lawmakers Work out Immigration Deal

With seven working days until a government shutdown, immigration remains a key factor in negotiations over a spending deal. Enter President Donald Trump, who is taking a more-active-than-usual role in bringing Democrats and Republicans to the table to work out a deal that would address Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and border security.

While all sides say the negotiations are going well, using words like “intense” and “serious” today, there are still serious issues that need to be resolved.

As Sen. Thom Tillis pointed out, most of the work on big agreements like this doesn’t get done until the 11th hour anyway.

“You know how it works around here. You’ve got a lot of work to do and then all the work get done in the remaining twenty percent of the time you need to get it done,” he told reporters.

Here’s a look at all the individual components of an immigration deal:

Standalone bill, or included with budget deal? Senate Democrats are insisting that immigration be included as part of a deal to fund the government before Jan. 19. But when asked whether he will tell Democrats to vote against the funding deal if it does NOT include protection for Dreamers, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer whiffed. Republicans, for their part, prefer that the immigration bill be dealt with separately.

DACA recipients – What happens to them? Most lawmakers agree that something should be done to provide a fix to permanently safeguard DREAMers from deportation. The question is what? At least two Senate Republicans – Tillis and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who both attended a meeting on immigration with Trump today – have said that the parties are discussing a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, and that there is bipartisan support for such an approach, but nothing has been decided on that front yet.

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