New bipartisan immigration plan to be introduced in US Senate

US Senator John McCain. (File Photo: IANS)

Washington,   US Senators John McCain and Christopher Coons will introduce a new immigration legislation on Monday in an effort to reach a budget deal before the federal government’s current funding runs out later this week.

The bipartisan piece of legislation provides recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, commonly known as “Dreamers,” an opportunity for citizenship while ordering a study to figure out what border security measures are needed, said a report in the Wall Street Journal.

DACA aimed to protect from deportation certain immigrants brought to the US illegally when they were children.

Senate aides told the Journal that the plan would provide people who have resided in the US since December 31, 2013, with legal status and a path to citizenship.

“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,” Senator McCain said in a statement.

“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 programme and secure the southern border,” he added.

But the measure would not call for spending the $30 billion that President Donald Trump is seeking to fortify the border with new wall and fence construction.

The plan would also provide more people with a path to citizenship and legal status than Trump’s original plan did, the Hill magazine reported.

The White House announced in January that the President would endorse a path to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million young immigrants in exchange for border wall funding and sweeping changes to the immigration system.

The new measure says nothing about curbing family-based legal migration or making changes to the diversity lottery programme — two other priorities for Trump and conservative Republicans, the Washington Post reported.

The legislation comes as Congress has just four days to meet another short-term spending deadline at midnight Friday.

The federal government shut down for three days in January after Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to reach a deal on a government spending bill.

Democrats said they would not support the measure because it did not include a solution to DACA, which Trump moved to end last year.