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Saturday July 11th, 2020 2:04PM

The Latest: Senate leaders readying blame over immigration

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on immigration legislation in Congress (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

The Senate's party leaders are pointing fingers of blame amid growing doubts that any immigration proposals will get enough votes to survive.

Showdown votes may come Thursday.

Republicans are backing a plan by President Donald Trump that offers a chance for citizenship for up to 1.8 million young "Dreamer" immigrants, as well as providing $25 billion for his proposed wall with Mexico and restricting legal immigration.

Democrats prefer a bipartisan plan that helps the Dreamers but doles out the wall money slowly and has far milder curbs on legal immigration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Democrats aren't backing any measures that have a chance of becoming law.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says Trump is the problem. Schumer says the American people will blame him if the immigration effort fails.

___

10:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump says Congress should be — in his words — "strongly considering a system of Merit Based Immigration" as the Senate works on an immigration plan to protect young "Dreamers."

The president says on Twitter that a merit-based system would allow the United States to "have the people ready, willing and able to help all of those companies moving into the USA!"

His comment comes as a group of senators pushes a bipartisan plan that aims to offer citizenship to certain young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — and provides billions to build a border wall with Mexico.

The Trump administration has denounced the proposal, saying it will create "mass amnesty for over 10 million illegal aliens, including criminals."

___

8:25 a.m.

The Trump administration is denouncing a bipartisan immigration deal in the Senate, saying it will "create a mass amnesty for over 10 million illegal aliens, including criminals."

At issue is a compromise announced Wednesday by 16 senators with centrist views. It seeks to balance Democrats' fight to offer citizenship to young "Dreamer" immigrants with President Donald Trump's demands for billions to build a border wall with Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security sent out a statement on the measure just before 1 a.m. Thursday, saying the compromise would "be the end of immigration enforcement in America and only serve to draw millions more illegal aliens with no way to remove them."

The department says the proposal does not address the administration's border security and immigration concerns.

___

12:49 a.m.

A group of senators reached a bipartisan agreement aimed at balancing Democrats' fight to offer citizenship to young "Dreamer" immigrants with President Donald Trump's demands for billions to build his coveted border wall with Mexico.

Though the compromise was announced Wednesday by 16 senators with centrist views on the issue and was winning support from many Democrats, it faced an uncertain fate. Leaders were trying to schedule votes on that plan and three other immigration proposals for Thursday, which they hoped would bring the chamber's showdown over the hot-button issue to a close.

While not specifically mentioning the bipartisan pact, Trump urged lawmakers to oppose any plan that doesn't meet his more stringent demands, which include curbs on legal immigration and the abolition of a visa lottery.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
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