Kelly's comments to reporters earlier Tuesday came as he defended Trump's plan to grant a path to citizenship for 1.8 million so-called Dreamers - immigrants brought to the US illegally as children - in exchange for enhanced border security, changes to family reunification visas and an end to the diversity visa program. Will Hurd and California Democrat Rep. Pete Aguilar for weeks, with officials being informed while it was being drafted and with chief of staff John Kelly and legislative director Marc Short being briefed on the bill in meetings with members of Congress, including Hurd and Aguilar. Chris Coons are slated to introduce a bill Monday that would grant eventual citizenship to young undocumented immigrants who have been in the country since 2013 and came to the USA as children, but it does not address all of the President's stated immigration priorities, like ending family-based immigration categories - which Republicans call "chain migration" -- or ending the diversity visa program.
"The bill. does address the two most pressing problems we face: protecting DACA recipients and securing the border", Coons said in a statement with McCain. The bill would bolster use of technology for border security and call on the Homeland Security secretary to submit a border security strategy to Congress within a year for review. March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Dems seem not to care about DACA. Gutierrez is himself incensed over the White House's proposal to give all DACA recipients a path to citizenship in exchange for slashing legal immigration to the lowest levels in nearly a century and erecting a massive border wall. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the bill allows almost all undocumented immigrants brought to the country before their 18th birthday to become US citizens after a 13-year waiting period.
Coons says Trump has made a broader bill "more politically complicated" because of his obscene description last month of African countries.
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Coons said he was referring to Trump comments at a White House meeting last month at which he used a vulgarity to described African nations. The bill does not deal with family-based migration or the visa lottery system, both provisions Trump has insisted be included. It would create a road to legal status for "Dreamers" who arrived in the U.S.by the end of 2013 and meet other criteria, including no convictions for serious crimes. Border wall funding is one of the president's primary demands of any immigration bill and he has the backing of some of the hard-line immigration hawks in the House and Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this time he did not expect a repeat of the shutdown, for which both camps have traded blame.
"If you stick to what the Hurd bill does, it is about Dreamers, it is about security at the border". McCain has been in Arizona being treated for cancer and was not on the conference call.
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Rep. Joseph Crowley of NY, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, denounced Trump's address as "racist", while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi complained that although Trump "presents himself as generous" toward Dreamers, he's "holding them hostage" in what she calls the "most extreme anti-immigrant agenda in generations".
Trump wants Congress to also restrict legal immigration to the U.S.by limiting relatives immigrants can sponsor and eliminating a visa lottery.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has lauded the legislation.
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