The Senate voted Monday evening to advance that debate but pressure from both the left and right could make it harder than ever to achieve something on immigration.

Unlike five years ago, when the Senate debated comprehensive immigration reform on the floor of the Senate, the politics of the moment have been complicated by not only a President who made building a border wall and deporting immigrants the centerpiece of his campaign, but a Democratic base that is demanding more than ever that its members hold the line against the President.

There are still many unanswered questions about how the debate will unfold. The number of amendments is still uncertain as are the contents of those amendments. Republican have introduced one amendment that closely resembles Trump’s immigration framework. And a bipartisan group of lawmakers is still trying to craft their own proposal to present for a vote. But Democrats haven’t unveiled their amendments at this point and frustration was growing Monday night from Republicans that Democrats still hadn’t laid down out their hand.

 

GOP Senator Calls Trump’s Immigration Plan The ‘Best and Final Offer’ As Debate Starts

A Republican senator asserted Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s immigration plan is the only measure that could pass Congress. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas spoke as the Senate was scheduled to start an open debate on how to proceed.

A measure drafted by GOP senators including Cotton aims to mirror Trump’s immigration proposal, which calls for restrictions on legal immigration that Democrats consider unacceptable. “The president’s framework bill is not an opening bid for negotiations. It’s a best and final offer,” Cotton told “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning.

 

Second Federal Judge Rules Against Trump’s Move to End DACA

President Trump’s administration didn’t offer “legally adequate reasons” for ending a program that spared many young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. as children, a judge ruled Tuesday as he ordered the program to continue. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has said then-President Obama’s decision to implement DACA was an unconstitutional exercise of authority.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn, N.Y., said in a written order that the Republican president “indisputably” had the power to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but relied on flawed legal positions in doing so. Garaufis said the Trump administration relied on an “erroneous” belief the program was unconstitutional. His ruling mirrors one issued in San Francisco in January.

“The Trump administration should be able to alter the policies and priorities set by its predecessor,” Garaufis said. The ruling came in lawsuits brought by immigration rights groups and 15 states and the District of Columbia.

 

Trump Takes “Shackles” Off ICE, which is Slapping Them On Immigrants Who Thought They Were Safe

A week after he won the election, President Donald Trump promised that his administration would round up millions of immigrant gang members and drug dealers. And after he took office, arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers surged 40%.

But as ICE officers get wider latitude to determine whom they detain, the biggest jump in arrests has been of immigrants with no criminal convictions. The agency made 37,734 “noncriminal” arrests in the government’s 2017 fiscal year, more than twice the number in the previous year. The category includes suspects facing possible charges as well as those without criminal records.